Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.
U.S. exporters will need to establish and maintain a strong business relationship with local partners to succeed in Japan. Companies hoping to enter the Japanese market should visit the country frequently to cultivate contacts and to understand business conditions. (While the Government of Japan implemented strict entry restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, these were largely lifted as of October 11, 2022.)
Most U.S. exporters entering Japan begin by finding a local partner to serve as an agent, distributor, and/or representative. Agents and distributors are the most common partnerships used by foreign firms to gain their initial foothold in Japan. U.S. firms may also consider establishing a branch sales office.
The U.S. Commercial Service in Japan (USCS) is ready to help U.S. companies make connections by identifying and introducing potential buyers, distributors, and importers. Contact the USCS Japan..
For support exporting U.S. agricultural commodities and processed foods, please consult the Japan: Exporter Guide.
Additional details are also available in the CCG’s “Selling U.S. Products and Services”.