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Country Roundtables

Virtual Roundtable: Insights into Japan

25th Mar 2021

Spotlight on the world’s 3rd economy

Japan is undergoing a huge decline in population, forecasted to decrease to only 86.74 million people by 2060 from 127 million in 2013, and is currently the fastest ageing society in the world. What does this mean for foreign brands and investors, and how can this represent an opportunity? Hear from our panel on their experience and knowledge of the marketplace and what global brands can learn from their local counterparts.


With thanks to our great panel of experts:

  • Arnold Ackerer, Deputy Head of Advantage Austria in Tokyo
  • Yusuke Kamimura, founder and CEO of ShapeWin
  • Maki Kinoshita, a Marketing & Strategy Consultant
  • Dave Perry is Senior Research Director at Sugata Research
  • Akiko Tanoue is a Global Customer Marketing professional at GU (Fast Retailing Group)


By 2060, more than 40% of Japan’s population will be 65 and older. That will shape the market, what you can sell in Japan for consumer goods, what will be in demand and so on


Many people still read newspapers, and TV media has a strong influence, which is very much the opposite of most Western countries. Because of this, most marketing strategies promote using only one selected form of media.


Consumers shop everyday or every other day because they don’t have enough space to keep it. As a result, retailers want to keep minimum inventory, so they receive frequent, small deliveries almost everyday.


Anything can be kawaii, even stuff that as Westerners we might think is inappropriate, e.g. marketing for a mortgage or health insurance. Kawaii seems to pull the right heartstrings here.


To resonate with Japanese consumers, it is necessary to take a lot of time for transcreation, especially with the social context, visual appeals and language structure being so different from English.



Watch the key highlights

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