Japan - Country Commercial Guide
Last published date: 2022-11-21


Japan’s Semiconductor Market Size (Million USD) 




CY2022 (estimated)  


 Market Size  






 Y-on-Y Growth  





 Market Size 





Y-on-Y Growth 





 Exchange Rate  





Source:  Exchange rates are based on WSTS statistics

Global Market Overview 

The organization World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (“WSTS”) reported that the global semiconductor market in 2021 experienced year-on-year growth of 26.2%.  Although the global economy continues to be affected by uncertainties associated with COVID-19 and geopolitical risks, the economy has gradually grown.  This trend is also reflected in both the global and Japanese semiconductor markets which have continued to demonstrate sustained growth. 

The WSTS report also notes that the markets for personal computers and tablets for telework, Wi-Fi devices, video distribution, and game consoles have expanded since the COVID-19 pandemic.  The dramatic increase in the volume of data communications has also boosted investment in telecommunications infrastructure and data centers which has resulted in increased demand for semiconductors.  

While some of these data demands have weakened since the second half of 2021, capital expenditures have expanded as economic activity has begun to normalize, supplementing demand for semiconductors.  In addition to data centers, the following technologies are expected to drive expansion of the semiconductor market:  edge devices for automotive (automatic driving, electric vehicles); industrial machinery (Internet of Things, robotics); and smart home appliances.  

Japanese Market Overview and Positioning  

Based on WSTS reports, the Japanese semiconductor market is expected to follow the growth of the global semiconductor market, with anticipated double-digit growth in 2021 and 2022. 

In the 1980s, Japan was the world’s largest semiconductor producer, accounting for over 50% of global semiconductor production.  Japan now accounts for only 9% of the global semiconductor production according to information provided in World Production Forecast for Semiconductors, Japanese Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) Semiconductor Briefing (Mar. 7, 2022).  Since the early 2000s, Japan has faced challenges in shifting business models from traditional vertical integration (IDM) to horizontal division of labor (fabless/foundry). 

Although no longer the world’s largest semiconductor market, Japan still maintains a high market share and international competitiveness in product groups such as memory (especially NAND), sensors (especially CMOS image sensors), and power semiconductors.  Japan’s approximate share of the global supply of semiconductors and related equipment is shown below.  

  • Semiconductor Chips (Logic, Micro, Memory, Analog) 6% 

  • Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment 35% 

  • Semiconductor Materials 50%  


Memory – DRAM  

After the business failure of Japan’s DRAM manufacturer Elpida Memory in 2012, and this company’s subsequent acquisition by Micron, Japan does not have any domestic DRAM manufacturers.  Most of Japan’s DRAM companies exited the market as a result of restructuring, mergers and acquisition activity, and other commercial factors.  However, many of the DRAM companies’ physical facilities continue to operate and are highly regarded in the international community as semiconductor R&D and pre-processing facilities. 

Memory – NAND 

Japan’s Toshiba Corporation, presently the Kioxia Corporation, invented NAND in 1987.  Since this time, Japanese companies have been developing highly integrated, high-capacity flash memory to support the evolution of electronic devices and the progress of the information society on a global scale.  In addition to storage media such as SD cards and USB, the NAND market has continued to expand rapidly as digitalization has expanded applications to digital cameras and smartphones, as well as solid state drives (SSD) for PCs and data centers.  While competition is mainly among Japanese, Korean, and U.S. companies, Japan accounts for about a third of the global NAND production share. 

Sensor – CMOS/Image Sensors 

CMOS image sensors are used in smartphones, digital cameras, car stereos, security cameras, and other applications.  Sony Semiconductor Solutions has approximately a 50% share of the global market for CMOS image sensors.  Sony has consistently led the industry in CMOS image sensors through technological innovation. 

Power Semiconductors 

Power semiconductors enable the efficient use of electricity and are indispensable devices for electric vehicles (EVs) and other decarbonization efforts. A survey by Informa’s high-tech market research division reveals that five Japanese companies –Mitsubishi Electric, Fuji Electric, Toshiba, Renesas Electronics, and ROHM – were ranked among the top ten power semiconductor companies in terms of sales in 2021.  Japanese manufacturers account for approximately 3-6% of the power semiconductor global market. 

Microcontroller Systems 

Control system technology, which determines the performance of the microcontroller systems installed in automobiles, is an essential technology for strengthening the competitiveness of automotive and industrial systems.  The automotive semiconductor industry, in which Japan strongly competes, and industrial semiconductors, which are a future growth market, represent good examples of Japan’s logic product line. 

Current Supply Chain Issues  

Global demand for semiconductors has been increasing as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more teleworking and high demand for data centers. Recent shortages of semiconductors required for various commercial uses are based on several factors: increased demand for consumer electronics, game consoles, and PCs; the resumption of automobile production; and the expansion to 5G smartphone terminals.  Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported on this shortage of semiconductors in an interim report entitled Initiative for Strengthening the Automobile Industry Supply Chain. 

According to Deloitte Tohmatsu’s article entitled Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions, personal computer sales in early 2021 were up more than 50% year over year.  In addition, semiconductor purchases related to the cloud computing data centers increased by 30%. Moreover, demand for semiconductor products has been growing rapidly in the automotive industry. It is estimated that USD $210 billion in sales and production of 7.7 million cars were lost in 2021 due to manufacturing stoppages caused by severe semiconductor shortages. 

As supply chain challenges and semiconductor shortages become more serious, governments are promoting R&D in areas where each country can leverage its strengths while optimizing supply and demand through localization and supply chain visualization. 

In addition, Industry 4.0, smart factories, and manufacturing DX initiatives will be needed to resolve semiconductor supply chain issues in the future. The need for such initiatives, long noted by many industry analysts, was highlighted by the supply chain disruptions caused by recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Leading Sub-Sectors  

Japan is ranked as the fourth largest global market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales.  The Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (“SEAJ”) announced that 2021 semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales in Japan reached a Japan record level of USD $33 billion.  Semiconductor equipment sales in Japan have grown fourfold in the last ten years.  SEAJ forecasts stable 5% annual growth of semiconductor sales in FY2024. 

Japan’s importance as a semiconductor equipment market is reflected in the number of Japanese firms in the world’s top fifteen semiconductor equipment manufacturers.  Japanese companies account for almost half of the world’s top 15 companies. 


U.S. companies that would like to export semiconductors or semiconductor equipment to Japan can benefit from several different opportunities. 

One opportunity is approximately USD $4.5 billion of Government of Japan funding for the development of specific semiconductor production facilities approved by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).  Japan’s “Act on Promotion of Developing/Supplying and Introducing Systems /Making Use of Specified Advanced Information Communication Technologies” Bill was enacted in December 2021 and went into effect in March 2022.  

This funding helps implement the Government of Japan’s strategy to assist in the revitalization of Japan’s semiconductor industry.  Specifically, Japan hopes to enhance its economic security by encouraging foreign semiconductor companies to develop production facilities in the country which may help revive Japan’s semiconductor chip production.  The Government of Japan continues to express concerns that Japanese companies, particularly the automotive industry, could be hobbled by a shortage of semiconductors due to supply chain disruptions caused by geopolitical considerations and global pandemics like the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Government of Japan Agencies 

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry 

Semiconductor Organizations 

SEMI (Semiconductor Business Association)  

Upcoming Japan Medical Device Events 

Semicon Japan – Hybrid   

December 14-16, 2022 

Tokyo Big Sight   

CEATEC 2022 (Japanese website)  

October 18-2, 2022 

Makuhari Messe 

Commercial Service Japan  

For additional information about Japan’s semiconductor business sector, please contact Commercial Service Japan (“CS Japan”) at the following email address:  office.tokyo@trade.gov  or Ms. Akiko Shimada at Akiko.Shimada@trade.gov