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Japan Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics

Japan is home to some of the world’s leading manufacturers and robotics companies. As of 2022, 45% of all industrial robots in the world were originally produced or designed by companies in Japan. Orders for industrial robots from Japanese manufacturers hit a record $7.35 billion in 2022, up 1.6% from the previous year. Production increased by 5.6%, also a record. The shift toward adopting automation for packaging and transport has been growing in fields such as logistics, food, and pharmaceuticals. Japan had 631 robots working in the manufacturing sector for every 10,000 humans in 2021. By comparison, the U.S. had 274 robots for every 10,000 humans.

Japan’s acute workforce shortages can help explain this focus on advanced manufacturing technologies, such as automation, robotics, Industry 4.0 and related solutions.  According to the OECD, Japan has the world’s “oldest” population, which has declined by more than 2.7 million in the past 10 years. By 2065, the country’s total workforce is expected to decrease by 40 percent. Advanced manufacturing technologies can increase productivity, consume less energy, and lead to fewer product defects, thus address workforce shortage challenges and help the government achieve its carbon neutrality goals, as well.

For the past decade, value-added manufacturing in Japan has accounted for more than 20 percent of Japan’s GDP. In addition, capital investments to upgrade manufacturing facilities, including incorporating advanced manufacturing technologies, has grown steadily. A recent poll indicated that sixty five percent (65%) of Japanese manufacturing companies surveyed were interested in upgrading their production technology and their manufacturing process management abilities.  Digital infrastructure is one area of growth in this respect: Japanese manufacturing companies are estimated to spend $4.1 billion on digital infrastructure by 2030, up from below $1 billion currently.

In addition, as part of its fiscal year 2023 (April 2023 – March 2024) spending budget, the Japanese government has allocated $39.3 billion to support Japanese supply chain resiliency.  Japanese manufacturing companies will be eligible to apply for government subsidies to upgrade equipment to make certain critical products, including those that are related to semiconductors, electric vehicles (EVs), and potential future pandemic medical needs.

Trends in the advanced manufacturing sector, including the Japanese government’s increased spending on upgrades for production facilities of critical products, offer new opportunities for U.S. solutions providers. To maximize success in the Japanese market, U.S. firms should partner with local agents or distributors with deep industry knowledge and sales networks to market their products to end-users in Japan. It is also important for U.S. companies to establish their own Japan office if possible and to have local representatives on the ground.


Factory Innovation Week 2024
Dates:  January 24-26, 2024
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
Description: Factory Innovation Week is co-located with other shows such as Nepcon Japan, Smart Logistics Japan. Over 1,400 exhibitors and 74,000 industry professionals participated in Factory Innovation Week 2023.

IIFES 2024
Dates: January 31 – February 2, 2024
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
Description: IIFES is a biannual trade show for automation and measurement system. U.S. Commercial Service has been a partner of this trade show for over 8 years and has been arranging speaking opportunities and booth space for U.S. companies. About 150 exhibitors and 11,000 participants attended this in-person event in 2022 despite Japan’s being was under quasi state of emergency at that time.  

Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) 2024
Dates: November 5-10, 2024
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
Description:  JIMTOF is a biannual trade show. Almost 1,100 exhibitors and 141,900 manufacturing and machinery business professionals attended JIMTOF 2022 and is one of the largest industrial machinery shows in Japan. The show was originally an industrial machine show but now in keeping with new technology, includes software, additive manufacturing and other emerging technology products areas.

For more information, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service at