AGN Live Country Guides

Doing Business in Japan

Published in December 2017

Japan is the world's third largest economy. It has 126 million people and scares on natural resources, which explains why the country has traditionally been highly dependent on raw materials imports, being the largest importer in the world. The economy has been strong during the last 70 years due to the combination of a government that has been supportive to the industry development, a strong work ethic of the Japanese culture, high specialization on technology and small defense allocation.

Japan has a good urban infrastructure and you will enjoy the low office rental costs. The World Bank rates their income category as High, with GDP of US$ 4.947T in 2016, and a GDP per capita of US$ 41.5k. The GDP growth has experienced significant changes on last years: -0.1% in 2011, 1.5% in 2012, 2.0% 2013, 0.3% in 2014 ,1.2% in 2015, and 1.0% in 2016.

Japan is the fourth largest exporter in the world, exporting Cars ($90.3B) which represent 15% of the total exports of Japan and Vehicle Parts ($31.3B), Integrated Circuits ($18.8B), and Passenger and Cago ships ($12.2B). The top export destinations of Japan are the United States (20.2%), China (17.6%) and South Korea (7.2%).

Japan is the fifth largest importer in the world, importing Crude Petroleum ($50.8B), Petroleum Gas ($34.3B), Packaged Medicaments ($17B), Computers ($15.5B) and Coal Briquettes ($15.2B),The top import destinations of Japan are China (25.8%), the United States (11.1%), Australia (5.0%).

Japan is buying Crude Petroleum ($50.8B,8.7%) and Petroleum Gas ($34.3B,5.9%). In 2016 Japan was qualified as largest foreign direct investor in the US (FDI), investing almost $45B.

Member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), part of the free and fair economic zone, makes it easier for Japan to be a good exporter and importer. The main challenges of the country are the high national debt that is reaching 240% of their GDP, and also an ageing population, 21% being over 65 years old and low birth rate. Doing business rank 2016 (World Bank): 34 Relationships with international businesses continue.

In order to avoid the 'redundancy' risk of the use of static data about various countries, this portal incorporates various live data feeds from:

•    The World Bank
•    The observatory of Economic Complexity

The intention is to provide access to live information extracted from the regularly refreshed databases maintained by these organisations.


Use the navigations buttons below to access to more live data:
Inflation, Development indicators, Exports, Trade Balance, and more.

World Bank Development Indicators

The window below is a feed from the World Bank website and shows the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate Japanese and global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates. Amongst others it covers critical areas of Agriculture & Rural Development, Climate Change, Economy & Growth, Education, Energy & Mining, Environment, External Debt, Health, Infrastructure and Labor & Social Protection.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods exported from Japan.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods imported into Japan.

Trade Balance

This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph illustrates the subsequent trade balance of exports and imports to and from Japan.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph shows the destinations of goods and services by country.


Business Opportunities in Asia Pacific:

     (October 2020)

Potential for lucrative Chinese markets still very much present for businesses who may be otherwise suffering during the pandemic.

The upcoming Chinese International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai illustrates how the Chinese are intent to move on from the impact of Covid 19.

GDP is up and the Chinese economy has effectively bounced back. Robust pandemic safety measures mean the import expo comprised of 1,400 foreign exhibitors will open its doors to buyers hungry for Western goods and services on 5 November. CIIE is likely to be one of the very few major commercial exhibitions not to have been cancelled in 2020.  

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, grew 18.7 percent year on year to 84.13 billion yuan in August. This marked the fifth consecutive month for the country to witness positive growth in FDI.

If you want to know what to export into China and for further information and take action, please contact us.

Find the AGN Firm best prepared to serve you


There are huge opportunities for AGN technology clients in Australia. Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of digital technologies to Australia's economy is forecast to grow 75% to A$139 billion.

Almost all of this growth (97%) is predicted to take place in a range of traditional sectors such as financial services, agribusiness, life sciences, resources and energy. The Australian government warmly welcomes foreign investment in the some critical areas.

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Vietnam features at No3 in the top 5 best countries to invest in     (August 2016)

Recently free trade agreements have been signed with the European Union and 11 members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Most economic indicators show resilience and point towards a continued and pro-longed period of growth. 
As a rising middle class country Vietnam offers many interesting business opportunities. Vietnamese population is a young one with the average age of the Vietnamese people being around 29. Due to the Confucian way of thinking education is highly valued and these young people have a reputation for being very eager to learn and are hard workers. English is the most commonly used language for educational studies and so the language barrier is not often an issue. Economic growth is stable and the country enjoys a stable political environment.

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Countries Comparison

A collection of transfer pricing summaries of countries in the Asia Pacific Region

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General guide to Asia Pacific countries tax facts

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AGN News:

August 2021

Press Release: Professionals take to a multidisciplinary approach - written by R Venkatakrishnan, Partner at RVKS and Associates Chartered Accountants in Chennai, India

R Venkatakrishnan, Partner at AGN member firm RVKS and Associates Chartered Accountants in Chennai, India, has written an article published by the leading business daily in India on Monday 2nd August 2021.

In his article, titled 'Professionals take to a multidisciplinary approach', R Venkatakrishnan highlights a major change initiated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He shares his views on how domain experts need to form a holistic view of performance statements from multiple parameters. What will the future look like for professional accounting firms?

Read the press release
June 2021

Press Release: The AGN Woman of Impact Awards

The AGN Women of Impact Awards ceremony took place in front of a global virtual audience in May as a tribute to International Woman's Day 2021.

The award centre-staged women that showed commitment, energy, tenacity, professionalism and courage in the face of the pandemic with an aim to inspire other females. Find out who the six finalists are and who was crowned the overall winner.

Read the Press Release

AGN Firms in the country

Hanai & Associates
Shinozuka Bldg. 3F
2-27-16 Minami-Aoyama
Tokyo 107-0062
Time Zone:
Phone: (+81 3) 3479 2560
Ohwa & Co
Jidousha Kaikan Bldg. 4-8-13
Time Zone: GMT + 9:00
Phone: (+81 3) 3222 6025