Challenges Entering the Japanese Market

Investors and businesses around the world are eager to do business or enter the Japanese market.

This stems from a fertile economic environment and flourishing opportunities for these people to find.

With a good SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis before entering, your success rate in the Japanese market is very high.

Of course, unavoidable challenges are waiting for any company looking to enter the Japanese market. Without the right creative and innovative team to guide them through these challenges, a company may be forced to abandon its operation. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges and how to handle them.

Let’s take a look at some of these challenges and how to handle them.

This is one of the immediate challenges when entering the Japanese market: companies must meet the standards set by the Japanese government and must pass any and all required tests.


This can be difficult for new companies entering this market to understand the numerous regulations and standards. Some companies do not survive.


There will be numerous documents that are required for Japan’s standards and regulations concerning import procedures, quarantine periods, technical requirements, etc. Each section also details laws/ordinances and amendments concerning import standards and regulations.


Gaining certification for your business in Japan can be a very draining experience.


Not only from the numerous documents previously mentioned but also several layers of bureaucracy to navigate before being issued the required certification allowing you to operate as a business.

Another stressful and time-consuming step to enter the Japanese market is the significant amount of legwork to register your place of business in Japan.

Before any new company can register itself in Japan, it needs to provide a company-specific rubber stamp, payment of stamp duties, an application to the Legal Affairs Bureau, and evidence of taxes paid on the real estate property you intend to use as the place of business.

Once all these materials are presented, a government official will initiate a thorough vetting process. Finally, after all these steps, your registration will be complete.


Proper financing is a major challenge company face when entering the Japanese market. As new and promising as the Japanese market can be, without any funding, you will expect slow business growth.

Although having access to credit in Japan isn’t too much of a concern, you may be disadvantaged by not fully grasping how to go about attaining it.

Any investors that are available want to avoid risk. If such protection cannot be offered, investor commitment will not be guaranteed.


For any foreign company striving to enter the Japanese market is to understand the local culture.

The ability to maintain a Japanese-style business relationship is core to a company’s success. You must show respect, courtesy and politeness coupled with a high level of diplomacy to succeed. Most companies struggle to cope with the cultural dynamics of the Japanese market.

Click here to read about Japanese business etiquette, and how to build customer trust in japan.

The Way Forward

One reliable method to help deal with these challenges is crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding platforms can provide a means to help new investors and companies to overcome the common challenges found when starting a business. It can fast track the entire process, simplifying the prospect of doing business in Japan.