Overview: In 2019 Japan was the number 3 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 4 in total exports, the number 5 in total imports, the number 27 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 1 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).

Exports: The top exports of Japan are Cars ($103B), Vehicle Parts ($33.2B), Integrated Circuits ($30.7B), Machinery Having Individual Functions ($20B), and Passenger and Cargo Ships ($13.7B), exporting mostly to United States ($134B), China ($128B), South Korea ($44.9B), Chinese Taipei ($41.6B), and Thailand ($28.9B).

In 2019, Japan was the world's biggest exporter of Machinery Having Individual Functions ($20B), Photo Lab Equipment ($11.9B), Large Construction Vehicles ($10.8B), Hot-Rolled Iron ($7.49B), and Electrical Capacitors ($6.58B)

Imports: The top imports of Japan are Crude Petroleum ($64B), Petroleum Gas ($42.3B), Coal Briquettes ($20.7B), Integrated Circuits ($17.1B), and Broadcasting Equipment ($16B), importing mostly from China ($152B), United States ($70.1B), Australia ($41.5B), South Korea ($28.3B), and Saudi Arabia ($24.5B).

In 2019, Japan was the world's biggest importer of Corn ($3.32B), Other Prepared Meat ($3.19B), Fuel Wood ($2.11B), Processed Tobacco ($1.8B), and Nickel Mattes ($1.55B)

Location: Japan borders China, North Korea, South Korea, Philippines, and Russia by sea.

Latest Trends (May, 2021)

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Overview: In May 2021 Japan exported ¥6.26T and imported ¥6.45T, resulting in a negative trade balance of ¥189B. Between May 2020 and May 2021 the exports of Japan have increased by ¥2.07T (49.6%) from ¥4.19T to ¥6.26T, while imports increased by ¥1.42T (28.3%) from ¥5.03T to ¥6.45T.

Trade: In May 2021, the top exports of Japan were Cars (¥654B), Commodities not elsewhere specified (¥443B), Vehicle Parts (¥275B), Integrated Circuits (¥253B), and Machines and apparatus of a kind... (¥226B). In May 2021 the top imports of Japan were Crude Petroleum (¥431B), Petroleum Gas (¥282B), Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins and cultures (¥230B), Telephones (¥224B), and Integrated Circuits (¥202B).

Origins: In May 2021 the exports of Japan were mainly from Aichi (¥1.2T), Chiba (¥1.08T), Osaka (¥879B), Kanagawa (¥638B), and Tokyo (¥533B), while imports destinations were mainly Chiba (¥1.57T), Tokyo (¥1.01T), Osaka (¥794B), Aichi (¥587B), and Kanagawa (¥563B).

Destinations: In May 2021, Japan exported mostly to China (¥1.39T), United States (¥1.1T), Taiwan (¥452B), South Korea (¥390B), and Hong Kong (¥302B), and imported mostly from China (¥1.58T), United States (¥744B), Australia (¥402B), South Korea (¥271B), and Taiwan (¥271B).

Growth: In May 2021, the increase in Japan's year-by-year exports was explained primarily by an increase in exports to United States (¥517B or 87.9%), China (¥266B or 23.6%), and Thailand (¥95.4B or 55.2%), and product exports increase in Cars (¥379B or 138%), Vehicle Parts (¥161B or 141%), and Commodities not elsewhere specified (¥151B or 51.6%). In May 2021, the increase in Japan's year-by-year imports was explained primarily by an increase in imports from United States (¥165B or 28.6%), United Arab Emirates (¥163B or 304%), and Australia (¥117B or 41.2%), and product imports increase in Crude Petroleum (¥271B or 171%), Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins and cultures (¥158B or 217%), and Refined Petroleum (¥97.7B or 169%).

Historical Data

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Yearly Exports

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Value
Depth

Top Export (2019): Cars, $103B

Top Destination (2019): United States, $134B

In 2019, Japan exported a total of $696B, making it the number 4 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of Japan have changed by $4.98B from $691B in 2014 to $696B in 2019.

The most recent exports are led by Cars ($103B), Vehicle Parts ($33.2B), Integrated Circuits ($30.7B), Machinery Having Individual Functions ($20B), and Passenger and Cargo Ships ($13.7B). The most common destination for the exports of Japan are United States ($134B), China ($128B), South Korea ($44.9B), Chinese Taipei ($41.6B), and Thailand ($28.9B).

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Yearly Imports

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Top Import (2019): Crude Petroleum, $64B

Top Origin (2019): China, $152B

In 2019 Japan imported $654B, making it the number 5 trade destination in the world. During the last five reported years the imports of Japan changed by -$91.4B from $746B in 2014 to $654B in 2019.

The most recent imports of Japan are led by Crude Petroleum ($64B), Petroleum Gas ($42.3B), Coal Briquettes ($20.7B), Integrated Circuits ($17.1B), and Broadcasting Equipment ($16B). The most common import partners for Japan are China ($152B), United States ($70.1B), Australia ($41.5B), South Korea ($28.3B), and Saudi Arabia ($24.5B).

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Flow

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2018 - 2019)

Fastest Growing Import Markets (2018 - 2019)

Japan Exports Services (2018): $192B

Japan Imports Services (2018): $190B

In 2018, Japan exported $192B worth of services. The top services exported by Japan in 2018 were Royalties and license fees ($45.5B), Other business services ($42.1B), Personal travel ($38.6B), Transportation ($28.9B), and Financial services ($11.5B).

The top services imported by Japan in 2018 were Other business services ($68B), Transportation ($38.4B), Royalties and license fees ($21.7B), Personal travel ($16.8B), and Computer and information services ($15.8B).

Tariffs by Product

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The top product import tariffs by their MFN Ad Valorem value for Japan are Bovine edible offal, fresh or chilled (50%) and Bovine edible offal, frozen except livers and tongues (50%).

Click any of the products in the bar chart to see the specific Ad Valorem Duty Rates by partner country.

*The tariffs applied to imports for Japan are:
84: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ) Free Trade Area
130: Japan Generalized System of Preference
131: Japan GSP for Least Developed Countries
136: Most Favoured Nation duty rate treatement
139: Non-MFN duty rate for countries excluded from Most-Favoured- Nation (MFN) treatement
165: Preferential tariff for Australia
174: Preferential tariff for Brunei
182: Preferential tariff for Chile
239: Preferential tariff for India
241: Preferential tariff for Indonesia
265: Preferential tariff for Malaysia
270: Preferential tariff for Mexico
271: Preferential tariff for Mongolia
289: Preferential tariff for Peru
290: Preferential tariff for Philippines
299: Preferential tariff for Singapore
306: Preferential tariff for Switzerland
309: Preferential tariff for Thailand
333: Preferential tariff for Vietnam

Economic Complexity

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Comparison Map

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Value

This section shows exports, imports and economic complexity data at subnational level for Japan. Click any of the Prefecture in the geomap to visit the specific subnational profile.

The top territories of Japan according to its Economic Complexity Index are Aichi (0.98), Shiga (0.97), and Tochigi (0.85).

In 2020, the principal exporters of Japan were Aichi (¥13.4T), Chiba (¥10.9T), and Osaka (¥9.46T).

The same year,  the principal importers  of Japan were Chiba (¥15.9T), Tokyo (¥11.5T), and Osaka (¥9.25T).

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

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Japan has a high level of specialization in Blown Glass (14.6), Photographic Chemicals (12.1), Watch Movements (11.2), Pianos (9.63), and Pearls (8.28). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between Japan observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

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The highest complexity exports of Japan according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Photo plate, film, exposed or developed, except cine (2.76), Machining centre, single/multistation transfer machine (2.42), Equipment for photographic laboratories nes (2.25), Chemical element/compound wafers doped for electronics (2.18), and Chemical preparations for photographic use (2.12). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

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The top export opportunities for Japan according to the relatedness index, are Cermets (0.39), Aircraft Launch Gear (0.39), Rubber Thread (0.39), Bismuth (0.39), and Office Machine Parts (0.38). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that Japan is not specialized in.

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products it is currently specialized in.

Relatedness Space

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This network shows the products most related to the production structure of Japan. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that Japan exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier

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Depth

The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk and the strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is a predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking

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During the last 20 years Japan's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively más complex, moving from the ⁩⁨1st to the 1st⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

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