Japan’s electronics industry is one of the largest in the world, while Japan’s consumer electronics industry is known for its quality, innovation, and attention to detail. These advanced technologies allow companies to push the boundaries of what is possible in consumer electronics.
However, the market share held by Japanese electronics companies has significantly declined due to competition from South Korea, the United States, and Taiwan.
Read on for an overview of the consumer electronics market in Japan, including the key opportunities for 2023.
Consumer electronics in Japan: market share and demand
Japan’s consumer electronics market is valued at US$ 37.42 billion. The market is expected to slow down at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.81 in the next five years. The largest segment is Telephony, with a US$ 13.38 billion market value in 2023.
Due to increased internet use, ecommerce has helped increase demand, with 46.1% of consumer electronics products being purchased through ecommerce platforms.
Akai, Brother, Casio, Kyocera, Nikon, Sony, and Toshiba are major electronics companies dominating the Japanese consumer markets.
Key sourcing factors for electronics in Japan
Japan has long been a leader in consumer electronics, with many advanced technologies from Japanese companies. Japanese companies such as Sony and Panasonic are at the forefront of developing high-resolution televisions.
Some key advanced technology in Japan’s consumer electronics industry is 4K and 8K Televisions, Robotics, and Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Presence of global brands
Reputable global brands with a rich history dominate the consumer electronics market in the country. Japan has gained a reputation for producing electronics in the world. Casio, Akai, Canon, Nikon, Kyocera, and Panasonic have produced the consumer electronics that have become popular worldwide.
Nikon digital cameras are reputable and very popular, with significant media outlets using the cameras to produce content both on television and online.
Cheaper labor costs
Compared to the U.S. and European markets, labor in Japan, like many Asian countries, tends to be cheaper. This contributes to the affordability of consumer electronics in the country. Since the 2010s, Japan’s employment rate has reversed its upward trend, resulting in increased unemployment nationwide.
The cheaper labor costs help make Japanese consumer electronic products affordable, giving businesses a competitive advantage.
Japan’s strong economy
Japan’s economic growth turned negative in 2020 and rebounded in 2021. The country has an engaged, well-educated, industrious workforce, and its sizable affluent population is one of the world’s biggest consumer markets.
Japan is a mixed economy based on capitalism, and a strong economy supports the consumer electronics market despite the competition from other countries.
Japan’s consumer electronics market is highly regulated to ensure only genuine and quality products are sold. The regulatory framework is based mainly on the international standards that guide approval and testing for new products before launching.
For instance, the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) established the DENAN Product scheme to ensure compliance with Japan Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law.
Consumer electronics manufacturers must notify METI every time they start manufacturing products outside the country. The products manufactured in other countries must be tested for compliance before being sold.
The strict compliance and regulatory requirements help protect the market from poor quality and counterfeit products.
Opportunities in the Japanese electronics market
Japan is a leader in robotics technology, with many companies focusing on developing robots for manufacturing, healthcare, and household use. There is a growing demand for robots that can clean, cook, and care for the elderly.
Robotic technology presents an opportunity for businesses to acquire innovative consumer electronics. Robotics helps in increasing the production time of electronics while reducing costs.
Japan has set ambitious targets for renewable energy, and the growing demand for products and services can help the country meet these goals. Renewable energy includes solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage solutions.
Renewable energy supports the consumer electronics market by providing a cleaner and cheaper energy source. Many manufacturing plants utilize renewable energy, lowering production costs in the long term.
Japan has an aging population, and there is a growing demand for technology to help people stay healthy and independent as they age. This includes wearable devices, remote monitoring systems, and assistive technology.
Consumer electronics demand is increasing due to the aging population that requires wearable devices to monitor health changes, improve comfort, and for convenience.
Japan is home to some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers. There is a growing demand for electronic components and systems to make cars safer and more efficient.
Examples of the technologies are advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicle (EV) components. Automotive electronics support consumer markets creating demand for consumer electronics products such as humidifiers, Bluetooth speakers, and video players used on vehicles.
Internet of Things (IoT)
With the increasing prevalence of connected devices, there is a growing demand for IoT solutions. Japan has a mature electronics industry and a strong technology infrastructure, making it an ideal market for companies that offer IoT solutions.
Technology is the backbone of innovation in Japan, helping produce more efficient consumer electronics to meet everyday needs.
Japan is an excellent source of consumer electronics if businesses are looking for quality electronics from reputable brands. The challenges in sourcing are not unique to the country, and their impact will decrease as the world overcomes the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means that businesses can tap into Japan’s cheaper labor costs, advanced electronics sector, and stable economy to improve their sourcing strategy and boost their profits in the years ahead.