Cleantech Opportunities in Japan

Japan is on the cusp of a cleantech revolution, with landmark new feed-in tariffs ushering in a clean and green post-Fukushima future. How can North American cleantech companies tap the Japanese market? In partnership with JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization, Kachan & Co. surveyed 52 Japan and North America-based professionals in cleantech, manufacturing, consulting and academia for their tips and advice.

Cleantech Opportunities in Japan

Cleantech Opportunities in Japan
Insights and recommendations for companies seeking to do cleantech business in Japan

A report by JETRO and Kachan & Co., June 2012.

As the world’s third largest economy, and with a government committed to renewable energy, the market opportunities for clean technology in Japan today are real and lucrative. Additionally, a vibrant manufacturing industry makes it an attractive place to do business if a company knows how to navigate the system and understands the country’s immediate and future cleantech needs.

Japan is known for its technological innovation, vis-à-vis its multinational, technology and automobile companies. While other countries are just starting to delve into the clean technology industry, this is not a new area for Japan: companies like these, as well as others, have been developing and providing cleantech solutions since the 1970s.

Japan’s reinvigorated focus on renewable energy and supporting technologies was triggered by the Fukushima disaster, the energy crisis that followed, and dramatic new feed-in tariffs (FITs). While solar is expected to lead the way—Japan is projected to become the second largest solar market (up from its current rank of sixth)—there are other renewable energy projects projected for the country.

In partnership with JETRO (the Japan External Trade Organization), Kachan & Co. administered an online survey in June 2012 to Japan and U.S.-based professionals, experts and academia involved in cleantech in Japan. Kachan & Co. also conducted interviews with select executives and experts in the industry to get their perspectives, advice and feedback on the cleantech landscape in Japan.

Report essential for

  • Cleantech companies considering doing business in Japan
  • Companies already doing business in Japan
  • Governments
  • Service providers
  • And others

JETRO and Kachan & Co. administered an online survey in May-June 2012 with senior Japan and U.S. based professionals, consultants, academics and venture capitalists extensively involved in cleantech.

The 52 survey respondents, representing a mix of Japanese and foreign companies, covered functional areas such as equity investment, technology, manufacturing and professional services, and included multinational corporations, cleantech & energy companies, green organizations and engineering firms such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Digital Grid, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd, Q-Cells, Green Japan, Sumitomo Corporation, Fujitsu Research Institute, PADECO, and UFJ Mitsubishi Capital.

Kachan & Co. conducted 10 phone interviews during May-June 2012 with the following: Andrew DeWitt, Professor of the Political Economy of Public Finance, Rikkyo University and an Asia-Pacific Journal coordinator; Ichiro Fukue, Senior Vice President, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; Luke Johnson, CEO & Co-Founder, Sunpulse; Rob MacGregor, Managing Director, StrategyCore; Hal Morimoto, Managing Director, Astoria Consulting Group; John Raymont, President & CEO, Kurion; Kiyotaka Fujii, President, Better Place Japan; Kevin Kuhn, Manager, Business Development, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas); Keith Gillard, General Partner, Pangaea Ventures; and Paul Gipe, renewable energy industry analyst.



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"It’s important to have a unique solution to enter the Japanese market, and it’s equally imperative to have an extraordinary level of flexibility, adaptability and patience."

-From the report

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