Some European companies have been established in Japan 100 years ago or longer
However, a substantial number of European companies is not yet fully engaged in Japan… many opportunities still wait
Several European companies have been established in Japan for 100 years or longer, but the total number and volume of European companies in Japan is still quite low, and there is a very substantial number of large and small European companies which are not yet engaged in Japan.
Building business in Japan does not make sense in each and every case, there are quite a few European companies where no engagement in Japan is the best choice.
Actually, there are also a number of examples of European companies that have tried to enter Japan’s market and have failed for a variety of reasons. Often, when European companies fail in Japan, this failure is explained by Japan’s “closed market”, however, in almost every case the failure of European companies in Japan is not because of Japan’s closed market, but because of intrinsic business reasons, or because of management errors such as lack of preparation, lack of a competitive advantage of products or services in the Japanese market (this applies particularly to consumer retail companies), or too low investment, or human errors and HR decisions. Please find a discussion of these issues in our Japan market entry and strategy sections.