Embassy of Japan in Israel
Economic Newsletter #1, September 2008
Dear friends & colleagues,
Starting this month, the economic section of the Embassy of Japan in Israel will start issuing a monthly newsletter. The newsletter will include a variety of information and news in various areas of the Japanese economy and business world, at the macro and micro levels.
The newsletter will cover areas of national economy (trade, employment, fiscal and monetary policies, FDI, regulation and other material which will assist in understanding what's happening in Japan), expose interesting sectors for co-operation and investment (healthcare, biomed, robotics, nanotech, environment technologies, wireless and more), interesting exhibitions, arrival of delegations and of course – the direct Israel-Japan business relations.
The newsletter will also include numerous links to useful government ministries/authorities, institutions and associations which might be of help in furthering your business and knowledge of Japan.
We hope this newsletter will be a source of information for your business and will thus contribute to the Israel-Japan relations, and will try to accept any recommendation and/or contribution you may have to this newsletter.
The economic section would like to take the opportunity of the upcoming of the Jewish Holidays in order to wish you all a Happy Season's Greetings and that the coming your will be a successful and happy one for all.
Embassy of Japan
Please refer you enquiries, comments and suggestions to:
KADONO Tsutomu, Commercial Attache
TOJI Kazuhisa, Commercial Attache
Executive Consultant for the Economic Section
The Japanese Economy
This section will include economic updates in the areas of trade, employment, budget, main economic issues and such information for a better understanding of what's happening in Japan.
The Japanese government has published the last quarterly (preliminary) GDP results. The data present a (-2.4%) drop in chained real terms over the preceding quarter - http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/en/sna/qe082/rshihankie.pdf
The economic slowdown is taking its effect on households, with consumers' confidence continuing its down-trend for the last couple of months (a 29.8% drop in 12 months) and their willingness to buy durable goods seems to be falling too (36.5% down within 12 months) - http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/en/stat/shouhi/0807shouhi1-e.xls
The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) has published the White Paper on International Trade & Economy for 2007 – http://www.meti.go.jp/english/report/data/gWT2007fe.html
METI analyses the various industries' activities during 2008 Q1 - http://www.meti.go.jp/english/statistics/bunseki/pdf/h2a48060e.pdf and the possibility of an upcoming supply-side recession - http://www.meti.go.jp/english/statistics/bunseki/pdf/h2a48061e.pdf
Indices of industrial production by METI, and preliminary report for July, 2008 - http://www.meti.go.jp/english/statistics/bunseki/pdf/h2a48061e.pdf , with historical summaries and reports.
This section will be a more in-depth sight into interesting sectors, sectors interested in attracting foreign investors, sectors in which the Japanese government has decided to invest resources for Japan's future.
Whether for industrial purpose or for the home, Japan is leading the world in robotics' use. Robots are used in surgeries, at production lines, as pets for kids or old aged, for sport games and even as house maintenance helpers.
In each newsletter we will bring another view and example of this fascinating industry. This time we will expose you to the annual Digital Human Symposium, held this March in Tokyo. You may get an impression of this symposium and maybe decide to go next year! http://www.dh.aist.go.jp/Workshop/2008/index.php.en
Healthcare, medicine and medical device
Japan's fast-growing age group (ranked 1st in the world at 20% aged over 65) and rising costs of medical device, technologies and medicines has lead to increased health-care costs. The Japanese government has placed this sector as a high-priority one, investing large resources and attracting foreign potential partners from abroad to take part in it. In the following link you can read about the medical-care sector in Japan: an overview, key sectors, business opportunities and success stories - http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/attract/medical/med.pdf
A related field is the biotech industry, a fast growing and largely invested sector in Japan. Japan is the 2nd largest country in this industry, forecasted to reach 25 trillion yen by 2010 - http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/attract/biotechnology/bio.pdf
It is said the Japanese cellular market is the leading industry in the world, with possibilities still impossible in most countries, with a close to 90m subscribers' market (July 2008). Using your cellular as a payment tool, information source, dating service, social networking, navigation, TV viewing, mms and sms and much more.
This month we will see what's new in the Japanese cellular/mobile navigation industry. Did you know that not only can you navigate with your mobile hand-set, you can also get information on the site you are planning to reach, such as the menu of the restaurant you are heading to. For a tip-of-the-iceberg sight of what the popular i-mode service can supply, check its online site - http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/service/imode/site/i_area.html
Mobile statistics - http://www.tca.or.jp/eng/database/daisu/yymm/0808matu.html
Environment technology (energy, water, waste, recycling etc.)
This issue of our newsletter will touch on the issue of alternative energy manufacturing and energy cut planned by the Japanese government. Under the global pressure to find new energy sources and cut on energy use, the Japanese government has launched a programme to promote the development and use of new technologies and investment in energy and natural resources – http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/reports/survey/pdf/2008_02_biz.pdf
Japan has been developing its peace-aimed space activities since the late 60s, operating till today according to the 1969 law mandating all space developments will be for peace-related purposes only. Since then the various space developments have been conducted by the different ministries and agencies quite independently, without a central and united policy.
In order to enhance efficiency of the space programmes conducted by Japan, the Japanese parliament has approved (21 May 2008) the establishment of a "Strategic Space Development Headquarters", which will allow the development of non-offensive satellites designed to provide "national security," and will be part of the Prime Minister's office. The cabinet aims to forge the structure and policy of the new Space Agency within a year from now.
You can read an outline of the new law and analysis of its influence on the region and the US-Japan relations at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/JG03Dh01.html
This section will include trade regulations and sources of information regarding trade (sources and links - custom stations, METI, JETRO, government ministries and authorities etc.).
One of the issues receiving much interest is the subject of export control. Here are two sites which will assist you in understanding this delicate topic. The first is the Japanese Foreign Ministry homepage: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/un/disarmament/policy/index.html
The 2nd is the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI):
On the 1st anniversary of broadening the regulations concerning the scope of inward and outbound export control by METI, here you will find the September 2007 new export-control regulations - http://www.meti.go.jp/english/newtopics/data/n070904e.html, with the end-user list of controlled trade partners - http://www.meti.go.jp/press/20080610009/20080610009-2.pdf
The world of tariff rates is always a changing one, with rates changing and sometimes surprising at the port – when it is too late for the exporter to influence the deal. Here you will find the latest (April 2008) Japanese customs' tariff rate, online - http://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2008_4/index.htm
Foreign companies in Japan
Success stories of foreign companies, areas of activity, failures and FDI will be some of the fields carried in this section. Since the foundation of the Japan Investment Council in Japan in 2003 Japan has created a "One Stop" window to assist foreign companies establishing their businesses around the country. In 2004 METI established such a
'One Stop' station in its regional bureaus in order to support the foreigner entrepreneur. It promises to answer your enquiries within 10 days (except for complicated issues). You can find the contact information of the nine stations here - http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/un/disarmament/policy/index.html and a map of the four investment regions chosen by the Japanese government and the industries they encourage on this site - http://www.meti.go.jp/english/information/data/cFDIJapanmape.ppt
Japan is doing much in order to boost its FDI, acknowledging its contribution to the economy. In 2001 it set the ambitious goal of doubling FDI stock within five years, and accomplished it (from 6.6 trillion yen to 12.8 trillion). In 2006 it set the goal of doubling the amount of FDI as a ratio of GDP to 5% by 2010 – and it's on the right track to succeeding this target (reaching 15.7 trillion yen in 2007). This spring the government, through a destined committee - the Shimada Report, formalised a five-point programme for beefing-up its FDI, raising various ways to assist foreign companies and individuals to establish business in Japan or increase existing ones - http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/en/stat/shouhi/0807shouhi1-e.xls
FDI statistics – by country and by industry, based on the Japanese finance ministry and central bank data (1983-2007) - http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/reports/statistics/bpfdi02_e_0804.xls
Japan has an abundance of exhibition all year around, in any field you may think of. It acts as a centre for leading exhibitions in Asia, with some of the exhibitions are the leading in the world in their field. In order to check for the exhibition suitable for your business, by date or by type, you can check-up the JETRO exhibition homepage at – http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/database/j-messe/
and last but not least –
Japan-Israel business & trade relations
This section will include reports concerning trade developments, business transactions, delegations and conferences held between Japan and Israel. New government to government agreements will also be included, aimed at assisting your business.
As not all information of transactions and delegation pass trough the embassy, your contribution to this section (as much as commercially possible) would be beneficial to all.
Israeli data security company Imperva Inc. has won a contract to supply its SecureSphere Database monitoring system to Fuji Television Network, Japan's largest television company. The contract is reportedly worth a few hundred thousand dollars but it is more important strategically. This is Imperva's second deal in Japan, after it won a contract last year to install another of its systems, the SecureSphere Web Application Firewall, on Japan's online foreign currency exchange platform, Gaitme.com.
www.imperva.com ; http://www.fujitv.co.jp/en/index.html
Amimon has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Electric to supply it with chips for HD broadcasting in its LCD screens of 40" and 46". Beside the screen a wireless box will be sold, which will enable broadcasting to additional wireless TVs in a radius of 30m. Sales will start in Japan in the last quarter of the year. With this development Mitsubishi is joining other electronic giants manufacturing wireless TVs such as Sony, Samsung and Sharp which have already signed agreements with Amimon.
http://www.amimon.com ; http://global.mitsubishielectric.com/
Mazda Motors has decided to incorporate Israeli company Storeways' software into its cars.
Storeways develops solutions for real-time data compression, in order to control the growth rates of large organisational data.
http://www.storwize.com/PR/PR_Mazda%2030-07-08.pdf ; http://www.mazda.co.jp/home.html