Survey Report on Japan-based Companies Operating in the San Francisco Bay Area

Feb 24, 2017

Our 13th biennial survey report is now available for download. This survey examines the business conditions of Japan-based companies operating in the Bay Area, including:


  1. Breakdown of Japan-based companies by county and industry
  2. Methods of market entry or incorporation
  3. Previous, current, and expected sales margins
  4. Contribution to the local economy via employment
  5. Business advantages offered by the Bay Area economy and consumer market



The Bay Area has experienced steady economic expansion throughout the 2010s, and the results of the current survey confirm that, thanks to these favorable economic conditions, Japan-based companies have performed well. Along with Silicon Valley, which continues to be at the forefront of innovation, the Bay Area offers an appealing consumer market that encourages a wide diversity of Japanese companies to develop business in the area. However, the area's strong economy means that wages and living costs continue to rise at a far more rapid pace than in other parts of the United States.

A large number of companies indicated as far back as the 2012 survey that personnel costs were too high, but the current survey is the first time that more than half of respondents have expressed concerns over future increases in personnel costs. It should be noted that the locational advantage of the Bay Area (i.e., high labor productivity that compensates for high costs) is diminishing despite its thriving venture economy.

We will submit a report to the California state government and other local authorities on our survey findings with regard to the economic contributions being made by Japan-based companies operating in the area and the business issues that they face. At the same time, we will incorporate these findings into initiatives developed by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (JCCNC) and JETRO San Francisco.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have supported and taken part in the survey. We hope that this survey report will prove useful to Japan-based companies operating in the Bay Area, and that it will help to not only improve business conditions in the area, but also promote ever greater mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.