Reaching the Consumer in Japan

Overview by

Marketing Opportunities

Growing Sectors
Homes/apartments construction and renovation, computer software, education & training services, household consumer goods, medical equipment, new energy power generation, pharmaceuticals, and travel & tourism.
Japan's population is aging, and there are growing opportunities in the "silver services" sector, services for the increasingly healthy, affluent seniors.
Japanese agriculture continues to decline, leading to increased dependence on imports for stable food supplies including high quality and safety.
Consumer Behavior
Traditionally, Japanese have always been more aware of the quality and the renown of the brand name, and the features of a product and its quality. But with economic conditions becoming harder, the price is a more and more important factor in a consumer’s choice.
Customer service is an important element in a sale: extra technical explanations, keeping to delivery dates, etc.
The quality of the service rendered will depend on the way linguistic barriers have been raised and the way in which sales techniques have been adapted to the local population.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Japanese consumers were traditionally rather reluctant to buy foreign products, but they have become progressively more open to them.
Japan’s consumers are rich, sophisticated and highly diverse in their interests and tastes, going from traditional needs to westernized desires. They value home comfort. They like goods to be meticulously presented, and to have exquisite packaging and very detailed instructions for use.
Consumer Recourse to Credit
The use of consumer credits is high. However, since the banking crisis of the 1990's, Japanese households tend to improve their saving.
Consumers Associations
JCCU , The Japanese Consumer Organization
Japan Consumer’s Association
Portal to Japanese consumers associations

Media in Which to Advertise

Expensive but reaches mass consumers effectively.

Main Televisions
Fuji TV Network
NHK - Japan Broad. Corp.
NTV - Nippon TV Network- Channel 4
Expensive but reaches mass consumers effectively. In regional and local newspapers, it is suited only for a product with strong potential in a specific region.
Advertise in magazines is a more affordable option for small- to medium-size enterprises. It is the best advertising option to reach a focused target, consumer group or to sell industrial and commercial products

Make it possible to reach people all over the country. But not really useful.
In Transportation Venues
In major cities.
Inside rail cars, buses, and in stations.
Hanging flyers, framed posters, stickers, and flat-panel video.

Market Leaders:
Japan Intelligence and Communications
Few radio stations, but radio advertising is worth investigating.

Main Radios
Radio Japan
Tokyo FM
New Technologies (E-Marketing, SMS, etc.)
Japan is the second biggest market of the world concerning online advertising.
Advertising through sms is very used and very useful.

Market Leaders:
D.A Consortium
Japan Intelligence and Communications
Main Advertising Agencies
ADK international
Tokyu Agency
NTT Advertising

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Not permitted in the children's areas. The words "Drinking is accepted for those over 20 years old " must be included.
Allowed, but with specific guidelines: advertisements cannot be directed at females but even magazines with 50% female readership cannot be used; television airtime is after 10:53 PM.
Must be approved by the Ministry of Health & Welfare
Other Rules
Comparative advertising must be substantiated.
For further details, read the Code of Ethics of the Japan Advertising Agencies Association.
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
Foreign commercials must always include some Japanese language.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
Japan Advertising Council
Japan Advertising Agencies Association (JAAA)

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