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The Determinants of and Prospects for Foreign Direct Investment in Japan


  • Ralph Paprzycki


Although Japan experienced a significant jump in inward foreign direct investment (FDI) around the turn of the millennium, the level of inward FDI penetration remains much lower than in many other countries. Looking at the factors that determine Japan's attractiveness as an investment destination for foreign multinationals, this paper examines the prospects for future FDI inflows. Topics addressed include the macroeconomic outlook for Japan (an important factor for market-seeking FDI), political, social and cultural factors reflecting Japan's willingness to embrace globalization, and policies the government could pursue to attract more FDI. It is argued that although Japan has clearly "opened up," lingering unease over a more laissez-faire market economy and inward foreign inward remains widespread and certain patterns from the past are beginning to reappear. A key issue in this context are merger and acquisition (M&A) rules and their implications are discussed in detail. The paper concludes by suggesting that unless Japan embarks on further substantial deregulation, increases in FDI inflows are likely to remain moderate and inward FDI penetration will continue to significantly trail behind that in other major advanced economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph Paprzycki, 2007. "The Determinants of and Prospects for Foreign Direct Investment in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d07-211, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d07-211

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    2. Ralph Paprzycki, 2006. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan: Case Studies of the Automobile, Finance, and Health Care Industries," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-141, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. Ralph Paprzycki & Kyoji Fukao, 2005. "The Extent and History of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-84, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "The Economics of Foreign Direct Investment Incentives," EIJS Working Paper Series 168, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    5. Fukao, Kyoji, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Macroeconomics," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 48(3), pages 227-243, July.
    6. Ralph Paprzycki, 2004. "What Caused the Recent Surge of FDI into Japan?," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-31, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. Ralph Paprzycki & Kyoji Fukao, 2004. "Overcoming economic stagnation in Japan: The importance of total factor productivity and the potential contribution of foreign direct investment," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-39, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Adam S. Posen, 2004. "What Went Right in Japan," Policy Briefs PB04-06, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. FUKAO Kyoji & MIYAGAWA Tsutomu, 2007. "Productivity in Japan, the US, and the Major EU Economies: Is Japan Falling Behind?," Discussion papers 07046, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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