Japan - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

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.

Last published date: 2020-10-30

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 better anticipate business conditions.  While Japan has implemented strict entry restrictions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (see Business Travel), new “travel bubble” arrangements are being developed with several countries in the region, which may make a visit from those countries feasible.

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 is ready to help U.S. companies make connections by identifying and introducing potential buyers, distributors, and importers.  Contact us here.

For support relating to U.S. agricultural commodities and processed foods, please consult the Japan: Exporter Guide.

Also additional details, please refer to the CCG’s “Selling U.S. Products and Services”.