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10 New Business Ideas in Japan For 2024

10 New Business Ideas in Japan of 2024

Are you ready to tap into Japan’s booming business scene in 2024? Japan is not just about ramen and sushi; it’s a goldmine for entrepreneurs and investors, offering diverse emerging business opportunities. 

In this must-read article, we spotlight the top 10 new business ideas in Japan for 2024 – from cutting-edge IT startups to groundbreaking green technology. We’re here to help you navigate through these exciting sectors, uncovering why Japan is a hotspot for investments in tech, renewable energy, and much more. Explore with us and discover why Japan’s business landscape is your go-to destination for success and growth!

If you are also curious about how to start a company in Japan, we recommend our article on How to Start a Company in Japan which will inform you of the must-know factors to start a company in Japan.

10 Trending New Business Ideas in Japan for 2024

In this section, we will explore 10 trending new business ideas that are reshaping the Japanese market. These sectors offer diverse and promising opportunities for all local and international entrepreneurs and investors.

To Discover how successful startup Owners and country managers scale their businesses and ideas in Japan, Check out our new series on Japan Scalers where we interview founders and managers who have surpassed 100 million yen annual revenue.

1. IT and Tech-Related Startups

IT and Tech-Related Startups are rapidly emerging as one of the highest growing industries in Japan, as technology has become an integral part of daily life and business. This growth is fueled by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and many innovations. Additionally, tech startups have become a primary focus for government funding, making this sector a great section for new business ideas to invest in 2024.

In 2024, foreign investors will find Japan’s tech landscape particularly fascinating, especially in sectors like AI and Fintech. A prime example of this is Kachaka, a home robot capable of delivering items following a human voice command. This marks a significant development in home robotics in Japan.

Looking for IT talents for your tech startup? Check out our IT Jobs in Japan article.

If you are a tech enthusiast or entrepreneur interested in Japanese tech startups, check out our Guide to Japan Tech Startups article. You will get to learn everything about the Japanese tech startup ecosystem.

Ultimate Guide to Japan Tech Startups

2. Web and Graphic Design

Web and graphic design in Japan are more significant than ever, as these creative fields have the power to stand out in an increasingly digital world. In 2024, businesses across all industries realize the importance of a strong online presence. Whether it’s for e-commerce, digital marketing, or online branding, effective design can make a significant difference in engaging customers and standing out in a competitive market.

Recent trends indicate that designs enhancing user experience are gaining popularity. This includes an interactive interface, 3D graphics, and animations, all of which contribute to more engaging and dynamic user interactions.

3. Green Technology/ Product

Green technology is rapidly growing in Japan, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. Japan’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 has been a significant driving force behind this growth. This strategy focuses on decarbonizing the electric power sector and electrifying other sectors, leveraging renewable energy, hydrogen power, and digital technology to save energy. 

New business startups also mark Japan’s green tech sector. Nature, an example of an IoT startup, specializes in smart home devices that transform ordinary appliances into smart, voice-controlled gadgets. Their products, selling over 200,000 units in Japan and partnering with tech giants like  Amazon and Google, aim to promote sustainable energy and smarter living.

4. Consulting Services

In Japan, the increasing number of startups and businesses makes consulting services increasingly vital. As new businesses emerge and existing ones seek to innovate, the demand for expert guidance in areas like market entry, technology integration, and business strategy is soaring. Thus, it is perfect for someone expert in the Japanese market to do consulting to guide new businesses in Japan.

Over the past year, consulting firms have been utilizing generative artificial intelligence to enhance their services. This technology significantly improves data analysis and strategy development, helping firms offer more comprehensive solutions to clients. 

5. Healthcare and Biotechnology

Healthcare and Biotechnology Business Ideas

In Japan, the healthcare and biotechnology sectors are growing significantly, especially as we approach 2024 and beyond. This growth is largely driven by Japan’s aging population, one of the highest globally. There’s a rising demand for advanced healthcare services and innovative biotechnological solutions. 

A great example of success in Japan’s healthcare and biotechnology sector is Rakuten Medical, a biotechnology company. They are developing innovative cancer treatments specific to cancer cells with minimized side effects. This example highlights how Japan’s healthcare and biotech industries are evolving.

6. Blogging

Blogging is becoming a significant means for creating new businesses in Japan. Its online nature makes it easy to start, and with Japan’s high internet penetration, it has a high audience reach. Blogging allows us to generate income through various streams like sponsorships, social media advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling digital or physical products. 

In 2024, blogging is seeing a shift towards interactive and personalized content, such as augmented reality for immersive experiences, along with a rise in audio content like podcasts. Since blogging comes in all kinds of content, it might be the best new business idea for you because of its easier market entry.

7. English Teaching 

English Teaching Business in Japan

English teaching is probably the first business idea that comes to foreigners’ minds. English teaching in Japan presents an interesting business opportunity in 2024. There is a high demand with over 16 million active English learners. This high demand is partly due to many Japanese companies requiring English proficiency and the eagerness of the Japanese to improve their language skills. 

Also, English teaching gives a firm chance to earn a high income. Japanese place self-improvement on high value, therefore Japanese students and professionals are willing to invest in language education. This scenario creates a fertile ground for English teaching as a thriving business idea in Japan’s educational landscape.

English teaching in 2024 offers flexible teaching options both online and in-person due to the current technology. This can simplify the process of starting a business, making it more accessible and adaptable to individual needs.

8. Translation Service

In 2024, the translation service industry in Japan presents another great business idea opportunity. Japan is continuing to attract more foreign workers and businesses, partly due to the lower value of the yen. With an increase in foreign entities comes a higher demand for translation services to facilitate communication and business operations.

In Japan, the translation service industry is diverse, encompassing various types, such as marketing and advertising, app development, and business and finance translations. With such a wide array of services, there’s a high likelihood that your translation business to thrive in your specific niche. 

Also, with emerging AI technology that helps real-time translation, it can be a good opportunity for new business ideas for you. One notable example is the development of a high-precision AI-based translation engine specialized for the financial sector. This engine achieves levels comparable to professional translators in the financial sector.

9. Online Retail

Online retail in Japan is a fantastic business idea for 2024, especially with the growing demand for online shopping. The convenience of shopping from anywhere at any time makes it a preferred choice for many Japanese consumers. This means your unique products have a higher chance of success and of entering the Japanese market. Whether you’re selling niche items or popular goods, Japan’s expansive tech market offers an exceptional opportunity for your online retail business to thrive. 

In 2024, Japan has seen trends like AI-driven personalization that boost customer engagement. With Japan’s diverse consumer base and its increasing inclination towards online purchases, launching your online store that is personalized for your target customers could be a timely and rewarding venture.

10. Disaster Safety 

Disaster safety and prevention is an increasingly important business idea for 2024, particularly in Japan, where recent incidents like fires and earthquakes highlight the need for effective measures. This sector offers a promising market entry opportunity, especially with government support to enhance disaster preparedness.

One startup, Kokua Inc., is engaged in emergency supplies, such as fire extinguishers and survival food. The company’s marketing approach involves making emergency supplies available as gifts. Kokua’s products have become increasingly popular as housewarming gifts, allowing the new residents to have emergency provisions in times of disaster.

Looking to enter the Japanese market?

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Which Indutries received the most investment in Japan in 2023?

Business Management / Solution : Dominating the startup scene with companies like Sansan, Rakus, Cybozu, Freee, and Money Forward, this industry focuses on services that streamline business operations such as business card management, expense settlements, invoice management, groupware solutions, and comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. Most of the companies within this industry showed significant ARR figures and growth rates, reflecting a high demand for business optimization solutions.

Legal & Contract Management: Highlighted by companies such as Bengoshi.com with its electronic contract service. This industry addresses the digital transformation of legal processes. The focus on electronic contracts signifies an evolving indsutry where legal proceedings and contract management are becoming more accessible and powered by AI.

Medical & Healthcare: Medley stands out in this category with its online medical consultation platform, which shows a surge in demand for digital healthcare solutions. This industry’s growth is propelled by the need for more accessible healthcare services, telemedicine, and digital health records.

Recruitment & Employment: Wantedly represents this sector with its recruitment platform, showcasing the importance of innovative solutions in connecting employers with potential employees. The industry’s growth is driven by the need for more efficient job matching, employee engagement, and talent acquisition strategies.

Security & Management: Companies like Photosynth, specializing in entry and exit management, indicate a growing interest in security and premises management solutions powered by Artifical Intellgence. This industry’s development is fueled by the increasing need for advanced security measures and management systems in various sectors.

Source : Initial Inc.

Why Does the Tech Industry Have High Potential?

Technology Helps Growing New Business Ideas in Japan for 2024

Japan’s tech industry shows immense potential, driven by its advanced technology and the widespread digital transformation across Japanese businesses. This presents opportunities for growth in the tech sector.

Advantages of Investment in Japanese Technologies

Investing in Japanese technology offers unique opportunities, particularly due to three key factors:

  • Highly Advanced Technology: Japan is renowned for its cutting-edge technological advancements. Investors looking to tap into the Japanese market will find Japan’s tech landscape full of innovations. This environment fosters the development of highly impactful technologies, such as sustainable tech solutions that cater to the growing demand for environmental conservation.
  • Government Initiatives and Support: The Japanese government actively supports the tech industry, making it an attractive environment for investment. Initiatives include funding for research, tax incentives, and policies that encourage technological innovation. This support not only fuels the growth of the tech sector but also creates a conducive environment for businesses and investors looking to enter the Japanese market. 

Ever wonder how to get the financial support from the Japanese government? check out our podcast on Get Japanese Government Money For Your Business with Miho Tanaka to find the right funding options for you.

  • Venture Capital Trends: The venture capital scene in Japan is increasingly leaning towards the tech sector, especially in tech startups. These investments are not just limited to traditional technology fields but also extend to creative tech industries, aligning with global trends and market demands.

Looking for investors for your startup in Japan?

Check our investor list to find the next investor for your startup!

Digital Transformation in Japanese Business

Japan’s shift towards digital transformation has revolutionized its business landscape. This move has triggered a rise in demand for tech solutions, fostering innovation and expanding the tech ecosystem. This digital shift is enhancing business efficiency and boosting Japan’s competitiveness on the global stage. Let’s look at the 4 points of how digital transformation stimulates the growth in the Japanese tech industry.

  • Innovation Opportunities: Digital platform encourages innovation, creating new markets for tech companies to explore and develop cutting-edge solutions. 
  • Expansion of Tech Ecosystem: This transformation contributes to a more diverse tech ecosystem, attracting more investments and supporting collaborations. 
  • Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity: Technology is key in streamlining business operations, leading to greater efficiency and productivity in various sectors.
  • Global Competitiveness: Digitally transformed businesses can compete more effectively globally, benefiting the entire tech industry by showcasing Japanese innovation on the world stage.

Why is Sustainable Business the New Talk of the Town?

Sustainable New Business Ideas in Japan for 2024

Sustainable businesses, such as green tech and renewable energy, are taking center stage in Japan for good reason. With strong government support and progressive policies promoting environmentally friendly practices, it’s no wonder that sustainable business is the hot topic of 2024. This shift is not just about compliance; it’s a strategic move towards a greener and more efficient future.

How is Green Tech Good for the Investment?

Investing in green technology in Japan is a highly promising venture, largely thanks to the strong support and comprehensive strategies put forth by the Japanese government. The Green Transformation Act, for example, is an ambitious program aiming to boost significant investment in low-carbon infrastructure.

Japan’s Green Growth Strategy further underscores this commitment, setting forth a detailed plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This strategy involves decarbonizing the electric power sector, electrifying other sectors, and leveraging renewable energy sources. Such governmental backing, combined with Japan’s focus on key technologies like hydrogen, creates a favorable environment for investors and signifies the country’s dedication to leading in green technology innovation

How is the Renewable Energy Market A Lucrative Investment?

The renewable energy market is in substantial growth due to advanced technology and supportive government policies. 

For instance, Japan’s advancements in solar power technology and the increasing number of solar power plants underline the sector’s potential. As of 2021, over 2.8 thousand solar power plants were operating in Japan, and the government plans to expand land availability for solar installations. 

Also, the government’s strategic initiatives, like the Green Innovation Fund, which provides substantial financial support for green technologies, further show the attractiveness of this sector. By investing in Japanese renewable energy, we can get the advantages both in terms of government support and highly technological tools.

How Do You Enter the Japanese Market As a Foreigner?

What is the Investment Scene Like in Japan?

Investing in Japan presents a promising opportunity, especially considering the country’s strong financial markets and supportive investment conditions. This includes efforts like “Japan Weeks” hosted by the Financial Services Agency, which welcomed overseas investors and highlighted the appeal of Japan’s financial markets. 

 Want to get more meetings with Japanese companies?

Check out our sales deck course for Japan!

Key Points For Japan’s Market Attractiveness:

  • A high number of listed companies indicates high market liquidity and depth.
  • A high level of trust in Japan’s regulators ensures a stable investment environment.
  • The openness of the market allows participation from various global investors.

Strategic Steps For Foreign Investors:

  • Conducting Market Research On the Japanese Market: To understand consumer behavior, trends, and strategies for successful business engagement.
  • Strategic Marketing: Long-term planning and development of a marketing strategy from the market research data.
  • Crowdfunding: After exploring the market and planning the strategy, crowdfunding is a suitable step before officially getting into the market. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for a project by collecting money from many people, typically via the Internet to get financial support.

If you want to learn more about investment in Japan, such as how to do market research and 10 crowdfunding sites in Japan, visit our article on Market Research in Japan and Crowdfunding Products in Japan: How does it work? to start your business before anyone else.

How to Network in Japan

Understanding Japanese customs, like bowing and the proper exchange of ‘meishi‘ (business cards), sets an important standard. Seizing opportunities for ‘Nomikai‘, an informal gathering, and actively participating in company or industry events to build valuable connections are also essential for networking in Japan.

Various online platforms and communities serve as networking destinations within Japanese corporations. Eventbrite and Meetup list numerous events for professionals, entrepreneurs, and students who are interested in business events. Organizations like Venture Café Tokyo and Startup Lady specifically support startup networking for innovators to meet and exchange ideas.

There are many more networking events in Japan. If you don’t want to miss out, head to our Guide to Business Networking in Japan and check out our top picks for 15 places for your next networking destination.

How to Find the Right Partnership in Japan For Investment Success

Organizations like JETRO and the Japanese Chambers of Commerce offer invaluable support in finding the right distribution partner in Japan. They provide access to a network of potential partners across various industries, alongside guidance and resources for your specific business needs. 

Finding the right distribution partner in Japan involves understanding your industry’s specific needs and considering key factors including:

  • Industry Expertise: Choose a distributor with expertise in your product’s industry for compatibility and effective sales.
  • Reputation and Track Record: Prioritize partners with a proven track record and reliable reputation to minimize business risks.
  • Cultural Adaptability: Opt for a company that can effectively cater to foreign businesses, ensuring smooth communication and cultural understanding.

Do you need help finding a business partnership in Japan? Head to our article on the Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Distribution Partner in Japan to find the best partner for your company.

Looking for the right business partner in Japan?

Book a free consultation with us and let us help you find your partner in Japan!

Final Thought

In 2024, Japan’s business environment is growing, particularly due to its highly advanced technology and a trend toward sustainable technologies. Entrepreneurs and investors can tap into a substantial customer base, eager for both innovative and personalized products and services. 

If you would like to read more of similar content, we recommend subscribing to our email newsletter for more information about doing business in Japan!

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