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Home > Special Topics > Social Trends Last Updated: 15:18 03/09/2007
Social Trends #74: July 21, 2004

Foreign Direct Investment in Japan Part One: Chinese Direct Investment in Japan

Hiroshi Tsukamoto (President of JETRO Japan External Trade Organization)
J. Sean Curtin (Fellow, GLOCOM)

A full list of articles in this series can be found here.


Hiroshi Tsukamoto, President of JETRO  Japan External Trade OrganizationThis new social trends series looks at the increasing number of foreign companies investing in Japan and their impact on the country. The series also examines how ordinary people are responding to the changing economic climate and explores the related socio-economic trends.

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is spearheading the international drive to attract foreign invest to Japan. In this first article, JETRO President Hiroshi Tsukamoto discusses nascent Chinese direct investment in Japan and how it is likely to grow in the coming decade.

Sean Curtin: When we think of Sino-Japanese economic ties, we normally envisage Japan investing in China. However, in recent years we have also witnessed the emergence of the reserve trend. Although numbers are still low, there is a steady stream of Chinese firms investing in Japan. How do you see this trend developing?

Hiroshi Tsukamoto: Yes, JETRO already has five offices in China and through these offices we are willing to work with Chinese companies, to help them to come to Japan to invest. As you just mentioned, at the moment the numbers are rather small but I think the figure will gradually increase and we will be prepared for this and ready to work with them.

Sean Curtin: How do think Japanese people feel about Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI)?

Hiroshi Tsukamoto: Very accepting, because there is already a very substantial presence of foreign companies in Japan. For example if we take the case of Korea, we already have a major presence with the Korean company Samsung. They have a huge building in Tokyo and are known for their very good performance. So in the case of China, I think a very similar pattern will emerge. For example, Sanyo has a good alliance with a Chinese partner. We hope that other such foreign alliances will develop and that there will also be an increase in Chinese investment into Japan. In fact, I think it is a rather natural trend and we are really looking forward to cooperating with Chinese firms on this.

Sean Curtin: Today, JETRO is trying to encourage Chinese companies to come to Japan. Do you think that in ten years time there will be a lot of Chinese companies established in Japan?

Hiroshi Tsukamoto: Yes, I basically think so because the Chinese economy is in a rapid phase of development. It is growing at a very high speed, faster than Japan. So that gives China a greater global presence, meaning they will also come to Japan and we will welcome them.

Sean Curtin: It will be very interesting to observe this trend develop.

Hiroshi Tsukamoto: Yes, we have a dynamic decade ahead.


A full list of articles in this series can be found here.

Related links

Japan is Flying Again Hiroshi Tsukamoto

Japan External Trade Organization

JETRO London

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