Japan’s stock market is often overlooked, but as the effects of their economic reforms kick in, Corporate Japan might just be a market to keep an eye on.

Home to the world’s first bullet train, pocket calculator, as well as portable music player1, it’s no surprise that when you think of Japan, you’ll think of innovation. They’re always finding a way to do things better — did you know that the Tokyo Olympic medals will be made from recycled electronics?

The culture of constant innovation and improvement is integral to the Japanese spirit and has led to many well-known Japanese companies. Now thanks to Japan’s corporates we could soon see the Land of the Rising Sun shine again.

The positive effects of corporate reforms

Even the pandemic could not dampen the spirit of Japanese corporations, who have held their own surprisingly well. It seems like the gradual but steady corporate reforms of the past decade are paying off now.

Their restructuring efforts provide corporations with more flexibility during crises, so Japan could weather through even exogenous shocks like the pandemic. In fact, the business environment is recovering quicker than expected; they have achieved a strong balance sheet health compared to the global market, indicating higher levels of cash flow.

A looser fiscal and monetary policy environment also lets these companies fund their future investments. Japanese corporations are not only resilient; their economic outlooks are increasingly more positive, which is a win-win situation for all.

A new Japan

We are seeing more restructuring among corporates as well, as they improve their business structures internally or invest in mergers and acquisitions, and these will only further drive growth of the corporates.

With the diligence, discipline and innovation that Japan corporates display, there might be plenty of investment opportunities to tap. A little bit of patience can go a long way - keep your eye on Japan.

To find out more about the improvements made by Japanese corporates you can read our thought leadership article at Why you should not ignore Japan Inc.

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