Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and Queensland’s second-largest trading partner.


The Japanese Government is aiming to boost the domestic economy and drive consumer demand for items such as:

  • niche and safe foods
  • globally oriented education and training opportunities.

It is also seeking to cement trade partnerships, including outbound investment.


The Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement offers access to, and advantages in, the Japanese market for Australian exporters.


Japan’s science, technology and innovation strategy makes it an attractive partner country for research and collaborative commercialisation opportunities.

Japan’s future economic growth will come from knowledge-based industries such as:

  • IT
  • biotechnology
  • robotics
  • nanotechnology
  • environmental technology
  • new materials
  • space technology.

Japan is well poised to collaborate with Queensland on R&D and commercialisation. With an ageing population, the Japanese Government provides support to Japan’s medical research industry to meet future challenges.

The new Agency for Medical Research and Development, launched in April 2015, will manage Japan’s medical research and administer a consolidated budget which, for FY2014, was 121 billion yen (A$1.27 billion).1

The aim is to increase the health and economic benefits from investment in medical research, including a strong focus on translation and coordination.

With a lack of domestic growth, the Japanese Government also encourages Japanese companies to expand in South East Asia, creating partnership opportunities for Queensland companies to provide expertise.

1Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (2017).

Mt Fujiama rising above behind Tokyo

Japan opportunities



  • Coal and LNG
  • Horticulture and fresh produce
  • Processed and functional food
  • Red meat and dairy products
  • Education and training
  • Direct investment
  • Innovative technology


  • Advanced healthcare
  • Renewable energy
  • Research collaboration
  • Robotics
  • Food
  • Education
  • Resources


  • Advanced health care
  • Advanced robotics
  • Education and training
  • Food
  • Smart technology
    • Smart homes
    • Smart vehicles
    • Digital marketing

Sector opportunities in Japan

Renewable target 24% by 2030

Energy and resources

Investment in natural resources to secure energy will continue.2

Japan’s future energy mix states a decline in nuclear (from pre-March 2011), stable coal and LNG, with a larger focus of low emissions IGCC and renewables.

Tokyo Gas is a foundation investor in the QCLNG project.

2Japanese Government.

Organic foods market worth is $3.9 billion

Food and agribusiness

Japan is becoming more reliant on imported food products to meet its dietary requirements.

Only 40% of daily calorific intake is produced domestically, while the remainder is imported from overseas suppliers.

There is a growing trend towards safe and westernised meals and processed food.3

3Japan Today (2014).

$38 billion for science and technology budget

Education, training, technology and innovation

Doubling outbound students by 2026 and increasing institutional partnerships will create prospects for Queensland schools and exchange programs as a means to manage Japan’s declining workforce skill levels.4

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said ‘Innovation holds the key for Japan to grow’.

Fuel cells and the hydrogen economy, IPS stem-cell technologies, and robotics (mainly for aged care, agriculture and manufacturing) are the future.

4Japan’s Science and Technology Budget and Policy.