Japan – Shook, but Still a Priority Market

DFAIT in collaboration with MOFA and JETRO held a series of seminars across five Canadian cities from June 17 to 24, 2011, to declare that, notwithstanding the human and social costs of the March 11 triple disaster, Japan is recovering and is open for business.

The heavy task of national reconstruction is coupled with burdensome fiscal challenges. The gravity of the recent disaster cannot be understated, however radiation levels are low, and sustained infrastructural damage was localized in Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures[1]. With this notion in mind, the Japanese and Canadian government collaboratively explained that the recent disasters have not shaken Japan’s value as a world business hub[2].

Japan is still the world’s third largest economy. Its corporate sector is home to 71 of the Fortune Global 500 companies and ranks third-highest among OECD countries in government and business domestic investment on R&D. Japan’s top five trading houses alone estimated to reserve a respective ¥3 trillion (CDN$36 billion). Finally, the country is rich in human, infrastructure and social capital.

Japan is Canada’s largest bilateral FDI partner in Asia, taking in $13.1 billion in 2009 coming from more than 550 Japanese subsidiaries and affiliate companies employing tens of thousands of Canadians. In 2010 Imports from Japan were valued at 13,449,917,049[3]. In the same year Canada’s exports to Japan exceeded $8 billion; a figure considerably larger than the $4 billion total for NAFTA partner Mexico ranking Japan as Canada’s fourth largest export destination and import source[4].

Canada and Japan’s bilateral diplomatic relations, established in 1928, have proven to be of immense benefit for the respective parties. As Japan continues down recovery following the March 2011 triple disaster, Canada is doing more than maintaining the status-quo concerning its mutually beneficial bilateral relations.  A responsive attitude towards the needs of the Japanese Government and direct investment into reconstruction of infrastructure will prove to further enhance Canada and Japan’s ties as global partners.

Countries at a Glance

Regional information

Invest Canada-Japan

Opening a business

Japanese Market Opportunities (DFAIT Trade Comissioner Service)


  • 1 Canadian dollar = 78.00 Japanese Yen (August 9, 2011)

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