Do Business in Japan

Resources for Oregon Businesses

With the third largest economy in the world, sophisticated consumers with a high disposable income, and one of the most highly developed industrial infrastructures, Japan is one of the most lucrative markets for American products. It is the biggest export market for Oregon agriculture, and a major market for Oregon technology, athletic & outdoor apparel, specialty foods & beverages, wood products and other consumer products.


Although many businesses find great success in Japan, it can be a challenging market due to strong domestic competition, very high product and service quality expectations, high business costs, complex regulations, and communications challenges.



Like everywhere else, the fight against the Corona pandemic has greatly impacted Japanese business and consumer behavior. Time will tell us which changes are temporary and which will be accepted as the new normal. Click here for information on how the pandemic may affect your business with Japan.

Resources from the State of Oregon

Oregon's Japan Representative Office (JRO) is here to help Oregon businesses overcome these challenges and succeed in Japan. Contact us with your questions – whether you are just considering exporting to Japan, or have been in the market for years. If JRO can’t answer your question, we can point you to someone who can.


JRO is part of Business Oregon – the Oregon Business Development Department. Global Trade Specialists there provide export assistance and can tell you about Export Promotion Program grant funding for export marketing.

Other information and resources

There are many resources to help you find success in Japan and other markets from local and regional economic development agencies, the federal government, and the government of Japan. JRO can help guide you to the best source for your specific needs, but here are some places to get started.


The U.S. Commercial Service provides information and consulting to U.S. businesses looking to expand business abroad. The U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Portland is staffed with experts who can provide advice and offer you market research and promotional services. The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Japan provides resources specific to Japan. The Japan Commercial Guide is another excellent resource.


The Export Import Bank of the United States provides financing and insurance for exports. Another source of trade financing and international business assistance is the U.S. Small Business Administration. A good source of country information is the CIA World Factbook, Japan


The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is the Japanese national government's equivalent of our U.S. Commercial Service. They provide a wealth of information useful for doing business in Japan:

  • “Communicating with Japanese in Business” is an excellent guide to understanding and communicating with your Japanese prospects and partners. This is a comprehensive document. Highly recommended.
  • JETRO's Comprehensive Online Directory of Trade Shows in Japan includes just about every trade show in Japan (and in the region). Up-to-date and easy to search. Note that trade shows are still very important for business. Attending a trade show in your industry – even if you don’t exhibit – is an excellent way for you to gain a quick understanding of the market landscape, look at the state of the competition, and identify potential business partners.
  • Information on the tariffs that Japan may charge on imported goods can be found on the Website of Japan Customs.


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