Australia - Japan

Cross-Border Trade, Market Entry and Investments




Food and Agri

Even though Japan’s agriculture has been inward oriented and protected by trade barriers from foreign competition, the share of Japan’s food consumption provided by Japanese production has gradually fallen to a current level of 39%. Hence the country continues to be dependent on food and agricultural imports.

Quality, food safety and traceability are high on the Japanese consumers’ list, and Australia’s reputation as a high quality, clean and safe producer positions us like to other to export into the Japanese market.

Japan consumes 12.7% of Australia’s agricultural exports, and is currently Australia’s second largest export market and second largest food and beverage market. Export produce includes wheat, dairy, sugar, barley, livestock feeds, oilseeds (mainly canola and cottonseed), wool, cotton and processed/semi-processed products.

It has high levels of consumption, with food and drink making up a significant proportion of this spending. The food and drink market is very sophisticated, and although Japanese traditional culinary culture remains a strong part of national identity, Japanese consumers enjoy a diverse range of food products now available at supermarkets, department stores, grocers and convenience stores. The Japanese value the country of origin and stories behind products, and attach significant importance to packaging and presentation. This works



High quality processed food

Niche products with a story

Organic and natural foods

High quality produce

Unique or novel beverages

Small serve wines


In the Education sector, Japan appears to be at a turning point. Traditionally regarded as a source of students for big study abroad markets like the UK, the US, Canada and Australia, Japan began to reposition itself in 2010 as a study abroad destination.

We see this as a major driver for expanding opportunities in this sector with the government realising that Japan’s branding itself as a study destination country will not be enough to secure a “globalised” reputation for its higher education system; it recently announced that it will grant substantial funding to universities that agree to expand their study abroad programmes. It will offer between ¥120 million and ¥260 million in subsidies each year for five years to 40 universities that commit to the effort to increase the number of Japanese students going overseas (by such means as setting up credit transfer systems with other colleges and adding foreign instructors). According to the ministry, fewer Japanese students have been going abroad to study since marking a record 82,945 in 2004. In 2009, 57,372 Japanese went abroad to study.

As a deputy director general at the education ministry recently said. “…“I believe we are entering a time to open up (Japanese) universities … to send more Japanese students abroad, universities need to make them more open to the global environment.”

The ministry reported that this year’s scholarship budget for Japanese college-goers studying overseas has been increased from 6.2 billion yen to 8.1 billion yen (approximately $81 million).



Information Technology

ICT is Japan’s largest industry. With a size of $1.3 trillion in 2013, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications officially embarked on a policy to double its market size to $2.4 trillion by 2024.

Coupled with Japan’s advanced cellular and broadband networks, its mobile penetration rate of 110% and the realization by companies of the need to boost productivity, demand for technological innovations and social collaboration is clearly strong.

Japanese organizations and investors are now actively seeking applications and technologies that will help them be more agile, more mobile and reduce their dependency on existing monolithic systems.

The main areas of interest we see are across E-business, E-services and E-commerce with active opportunities in sensing technology, health, supply-chain, and social and corporate(B2B) collaborative platforms. Cloud based solutions are increasing becoming the norm-de-jure.