Japan is located in Eastern Asia on an island chain in the North Pacific just east of the Sea of Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Japan is about the size of California and covers an area of 377,835 sq. kilometers.  The total population is 127.25 million and is shrinking at a rate of 0.1% with 66% living in urban areas.  The capital of Tokyo has a population of 12.9 million with other main cities including Yokohama, Osaka, and Sapporo. The people are governed by a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy and they are predominately Shinto and Buddhist.  The primary language is Japanese and the currency used is the Japanese Yen.

Japan has one of the strongest economies in the world behind the US and China mainly due to their strong proficiency in the technological sector.  Japan’s main trade partners are China, the US, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Its primary imports are machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, raw materials, and textiles. Exports include transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, and chemicals. Japan’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $4.704 trillion and is growing at a rate of 2% with an inflation rate of 1.48%. Japan ranked 24th out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.


Japan Country Page

Disclosure Laws: Franchising Laws Overview 

  • Medium-Small Retail Business Promotion Act requires pre-sale disclosure for certain retail franchise operations.
  • The Japan Fair Trade Commission published the Guidelines on Franchising under the Anti-monopoly Law (the "Guidelines"), which requires pre-sale disclosure in franchising.

Relationship laws: 

  • The Guidelines have provisions regarding the vertical restraints imposed by the franchisor on the franchisee.

Registration laws:

  • None.

Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Japan

Doing Business in Japan (2012)

Franchising Laws - Japan (2010)

Franchising Rides Waves of Economic Expansion in Asia and Pacific Rim (2007)

* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).  

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries. www.doingbusiness.org  

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise. 

International Franchising Opportunities

After you have finished researching the international markets, learning international expansion strategies and best practices, and understanding the basics of international franchising law, IFA provides numerous opportunities for franchising internationally.