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Marketing in Japan Japan has been an attractive destination for foreign business and progressive businesses are aware that they need a presence there Some of the walls that have protected Japan against foreign entry have been crumbling away thus making Japan more accessible to foreign business By 1998 only about 7 percent of Japans GDP was related to imports one of the few countries with a figure in single digits and the lowest figure amongst industrialized nations With such a high GDP and a deregulating economy this presents a huge potential for American businesses The options for American firms wishing to enter the Japanese market are as follows 100 percent ownershipEstablish a new plant of office wholly owned subsidiary 100 percent buyout of a Japanese firm takeover Partial ownershipEstablish a joint venture subsidiary with a Japanese firm Purchase a controlling stockholding in a Japanese firm Purchase a minority stockholding in a Japanese firm No ownershipEstablish a supply relationship with a Japanese firm exporter Enter into a licensing arrangement The dominant form of ownership amongst American business operations located in Japan is 100 percent ownership However as a measure of testing the waters many American businesses opt for a joint venture as a vehicle to entry If this strategy proves to be successful then there is a strong tendency for firms to strengthen control over business in Japan When this decision is made most firms change their business form moving toward 100 percent ownership Following WWII Japans trade and investment laws and foreign exchange laws set limits on the establishment of foreign firms in Japan This included the prohibition of 100 percent foreign company ownership Through the 1990s a combination of foreign pressures and a troubled economy resulted in the Japanese government allowing freer access in a number of areas This has made it easier to for American businesses to enter the market without needing to rely on a Japanese firm to
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