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Japan by Numbers: The countries where Japan invests the most

By Staff Writer
September 22, 2022

No.1: United States of America

Household electronic goods
The three top areas of Japanese investment in the US in the manufacturing sector are electrical machinery, rubber and leather, and general machinery.

At the same time, investment in the non-manufacturing sector, such as the wholesale and retail, finance and insurance, and service sectors, is five times greater than the manufacturing sector in North America.

No.2 : China

A row of new cars
The largest segments of Japanese investment in China are transportation equipmentt, general machinery, and chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The transportation equipment category, which represents the largest investment, includes bicycles, machinery for the rolling stock and parts manufacturing industry, and aircraft.

While the US is the top recipient of direct investment income from Japan, investment in China exceed that in the US if we focus only on manufacturing.

No.3: the United Kingdom

A plate of ham
The third largest Japanese investment destination is the United Kingdom. Japan's highest shares of investment here are in food, transportation equipment, and electrical machinery.

Major Japanese food producers with a large presence in the UK include Nippon Ham, Ajinomoto, and Yamazaki Baking.

No.4: the Netherlands

A jar of medicine
As with the UK, food is the top manufacturing sector for Japanese investment in the Netherlands. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals followed.

Most Japanese companies operating in the Netherlands are in the manufacturing sector, including companies such as Marubeni Foods Investment Asia Cooperative U.A. and Maruha Nichiro Europe Holding B.V.

In medical products, Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd. (Europe Office) has also a presence in the Netherlands.

No.5: Thailand

New cars parked outside a manufacturing plant
As of 2017, an estimated 5,400 Japanese companies are operating in Thailand.

Thailand is not only a major production base for well-known Japanese automakers such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, but also for communications giants like Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), aviation companies like All Nippon Airways Corporation (ANA), and finance companies like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and MUFG Bank, Ltd.
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