Largest Industries in Japan

Published November 16th, 2020

Let’s just get it off our chest — we all are very aware that Japan is one of the richest countries in the world, and we have the extremely developed economy to thank for that. In fact, Japan holds the title of the second most developed economy in the whole world; if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is! This success didn’t just happen overnight. Being the market-oriented country that it is, there are a few industries on the list that has significantly boosted the country’s economy all the way to the top (well, almost). While agriculture used to be Japan’s top industry — what with a good percentage of this island nation’s land being fit for farming — The Land of The Rising Sun has since evolved to include other businesses. Let’s take a look at the top five largest industries in Japan that has quite a hand in raising the country up to where it is today!

1. Manufacturing

It’s no secret that Japan is one of the world’s leading manufacturers, so it’s only natural that it’s the country’s top industry. We see “Made in Japan” on a product and we jump right on it — those three words assure reliability and the finest quality. Japan is without a doubt one of the leaders of various manufacturing sectors, including but not limited to automobile and electronics. All of us are more than familiar with motor vehicle companies like Honda, Subaru, Toyota and Nissan — and these are just to name a few. Of course, let’s not forget motorcycle companies like Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. Japan’s manufacturing industry also has its hands into other areas like fashion and food. Anything that comes from Japan and exported to the rest of the world is treated as “luxury” because of the high standards Japan has for all of their manufacturing. Safe to say, you’ll never go wrong with a Japan-made product — whatever it is, from the above average-priced apple to your next brand new car.

2. Consumer

With the manufacturing industry churning out products from left and right at a high pace, the people followed suit. With action comes a reaction, they say. It’s only fair to say that, because the high-quality products in the country are regarded as the standard and most minimal the people ask for, the people of Japan are arguably the most quality-conscious consumers ever. I mean, I definitely can confirm that based on personal experience. My definition of cheap or affordable is closer to ten bucks for a shirt, but the Japanese people won’t even bat an eyelid coming out a hundred bucks — that’s their idea of affordable. Mad, right? But that’s just how it is here. It’s not just with regards to clothes and anything else fashion-related, it’s pretty much for everything. For one, fruits are off the scale here — but of course, quality over quantity is the case in Japan, so five bucks for a carton of milk is kind of like nothing. People are willing to spend in Japan — and I mean really spend — contributing to the economy drastically. No complaints, though. You’re always guaranteed to get quality with what you pay for...unlike some other places.

3. Technology

I don’t think it’s only me that thinks of fancy gadgets and high-tech everything when it comes to Japan. The island nation basically led the way for the rest of the world into this industry. Japan is one of the leading countries when it comes to technology — all sorts of technology. We’ll start off with entertainment; I mean, video games, enough said. Without a doubt, Japan is the leading country for video game technology — Sony and Nintendo are just scratching the surface of this sector. Almost every gaming enthusiast would have owned a gaming product from Japanese companies — whether it is a game or the game console. Other types of entertainment like TV and various related electronics are just as significant. Japan’s technology also includes communication and services, figuring out ways to boost efficiency to provide for the people. When you think about it, technology comes hand in hand with the consumer and manufacturing industry; an increase in demand in one affects the other two.

4. Service

Okay...service comes hand in hand with the other industries as well. I mean, how can it not? A rise in demand from the consumers equals a rise in technology to accommodate them and manufacturing, and then equals a rise in people selling these products and goods. How else can these products be sold, especially when Japan is quite a “physical” shopping destination? By that, I mean that the people in Japan are keener on going to the store itself to buy their products than shopping online. If there’s no one manning a store, then no products can be on showcased to sell, and no customers would come. Simple logic. Because of this situation, the service industry significantly impacts the economy with 75% of employment contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP). Because this is such an important industry in Japan, the employees are paid well, treated well and given opportunities to advance. Give to the economy and the economy gives back, I’d say.

5. Tourism

Last but not least, the tourism industry. No doubt that this has boosted Japan’s economy in recent years — and has definitely been affected due to the coronavirus. Japan is ranked Number 4 in the world of the most visited countries, with an approximate of 30 million people each year — making it the top-visited country in Asia. The country’s capital city Tokyo is the most visited city in the country — who could resist the neon lights of bustling Shinjuku and Shibuya, the luxury ambiance of Ginza and the traditions in Asakusa — but the former capital city Kyoto and the neighboring Osaka are not so far behind. Nature and food are almost a complete opposite of Kanto’s Tokyo, and refreshing to say the least. The Summer Olympics 2020 that was supposed to take place in Tokyo was expected to boost the country’s economy even more, but unfortunately, plans changed.

The Wrap-up

And that sums up the top industries of Japan that play big parts in making up the country’s economy. The best part is that most of them are interlinked with one another — one goes up, so do the rest. These large industries in The Land of The Rising Sun seem like they are not going away anytime soon, still being one of the leading countries in the world. And we can all expect this island nation to continue rising and rising to the top, just like how the sun always rises first here.