Japan Business Resources

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Economy - overview:
Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically-powerful economy in the world after the US and third-largest economy after the US and China, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. (Using market exhange rates rather than PPP rates, Japan's economy is larger than China's.) One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The tiny agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall real economic growth had been spectacular: a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. From 2000 to 2003, government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. In 2004, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened. Japan's huge government debt, which totals more than 160% of GDP, and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. A rise in taxes could be viewed as endangering the revival of growth. Robotics constitutes a key long-term economic strength with Japan possessing 410,000 of the world's 720,000 "working robots." Internal conflict over the proper way to reform the ailing banking system continues.

Asia Hotels, Motels, and Inns

Agriculture - Products
rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit, pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish

Airlines in Asia
Airlines Worldwide

Airports in Asia
Airports Worldwide

Banks and Banking
Bank of Japan (English Version Available)
Chambers of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (In English)
Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (In English)
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan (In English)
Country Budget
revenues: $1.401 trillion
expenditures: $1.748 trillion, including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $71 billion (2004 est.)

Currency (code): yen (JPY)

Currency Exchange Rates
yen per US dollar - 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002), 121.53 (2001), 107.77 (2000)

Fiscal Year: 1 April - 31 March

GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.745 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.9% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $29,400 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.3%
industry: 24.7%
services: 74.1% (2004 est.)

Imports / Exports
Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (English Version)
Exports: $538.8 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners: US 22.7%, China 13.1%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 7.4%, Hong Kong 6.3% (2004)

Imports: $401.8 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials (2001)
Imports - partners: China 20.7%, US 14%, South Korea 4.9%, Australia 4.3%, Indonesia 4.1%, Saudi Arabia 4.1%, UAE 4% (2004)

among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan (In English)
Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (English Version)

Forex, Foreign Exchange Market: Currency Trading

Labor Force & Unemployment Rate
Labor force: 66.97 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 5%, industry 25%, services 70% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.7% (2004 est.)

Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (English Version)


Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Nippon Keidanren)
Tokyo Stock Exchange (English Version Available)
Japan Company Record (In English)
Japanese External Trade Organization (In English)
Keidanren Home Page (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations)
Ohara Institute for Social Research - Japanese labor issues
Ministry of Finance (In English)
Osaka Securities Exchange (English Version Available)
Japan: Regional Gross Domestic Product Data (In English)
Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange (TIFFE) (In English)
J-Stream (Web Production) - audio and video clips in Japanese and English
WIN Tax Accountants Corporation (In Japanese)
Asia Search Engines
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