Investing in Japan
This introduction of three attractive sectors (Electricity and Renewable Energy, Life Science and ICT) focuses on their features as promising industries for overseas companies that are considering FDI into Japan by taking three viewpoints into consideration: current trends; government efforts such as deregulation, reform of the legal system and policies; and the most promising industry fields which stand out in the market for their exceptional growth. (Updated in July 2016)
Electricity and Renewable Energy
The Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 has brought about various influences on the energy environment in Japan. Japan's energy self-sufficiency has fallen from 58.1% in 1960 to 19.9% in 2010, reflecting advanced fuel conversion from coal to petroleum as energy demand grew during the high economic growth period. The Great East Japan Earthquake caused a series of power plants to shut down one after the other, leading to a further decline in energy self-sufficiency, which fell to 6% in 2013. Imports of fossil fuels were sharply increased to make up for that shortage. During that time, along with the soaring of crude oil prices internationally up until the summer of 2014, increased imports of fossil fuels also became a factor in the significant deterioration of the balance in trade. That situation lead to a rise in electricity prices and produced a significant impact on industrial sectors, including SMEs and small businesses, as well as households.
Japan, with a share of around 10 percent in both the global pharmaceutical product and medical equipment markets, boasts the world's number two market next to the US. A number of foreign companies have entered the Japanese market and are operating in
various fields as major players.
The ICT industry has been rapidly growing and changing worldwide with the expansion of smartphones and cloud services. The changes range widely from content platforms or upper layer industry, the ICT service industry including B2B solutions or data center businesses, the integrator industry responsible for system construction, telecommunications carriers establishing mobile and fixed communications, and telecommunications equipment vendors providing telecommunications equipment, to terminal makers manufacturing smart phones or liquid crystal televisions. The real domestic production of the ICT industry in 2013 was approximately 98 trillion yen. Information communication-related services, telecommunications, and information services rank high among all ICT industries, making up a majority of the total.