Survey supporters:

Including survey on the effects of the Japan Disaster

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) is an informal organization comprised of foreign chambers of commerce and business groups in Japan mainly for the purpose of information exchange and enhancement of the activities of the component organizations.

The FCIJ conducted the first Business Confidence survey in April 2002, based on a format developed by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ). This survey, conducted twice a year, is rapidly becoming a barometer of foreign business in Japan.
This, the nineteenth, survey was conducted between April 12 and 22, 2011.

The survey was sent to members at 18 organizations representing about 2,000 foreign affiliated companies and received 437 valid responses, an increase of 52% from the previous survey conducted in October 2010..

Participating organizations included the ACCJ (American Chamber), ANZCCJ (Australia-New Zealand Chamber), ABC (Austrian Business Council), BCCJ (British Chamber), BLCCJ (Belgian-Luxembourg), CCBJ (Brazilain), CCCJ (Canadian) DCCJ (Danish), DIHKJ (German), FCCJ (Finnish), CCIFJ (French), IJCC (Irish), ICCJ (Italian), NCCJ (Dutch), NoCCCJ (Norwegian), SACCJ (South African), SCCJ (Swedish) and SCCIJ (Swiss).

Inevitably, the 3/11 disaster had a significant influence on the results of this survey, especially regarding the outlook for the economy and the companies’ business performance in a shorter tern (6 months). Compared to the previous survey (Fall 2010), this survey shows an uncertainty about the economic situation in Japan, especially in the short term.

The Japanese economy for the next 6 months is expected to decline, the index (on a scale from +2 to -2) was now -0.93 (compared to -0.04 in fall 2010), but looking 12 months ahead, the companies see a turn for the better and the index turned into positive territory - now +0.08, only slightly lower that the +0.17 in the previous survey.

The reported sales performance in the past six months was almost unchanged from the previous, +0.61 compared to +0.64 the fall survey. Similarly, the profitability had also improved, +0.59 now compared to +0.63. But the sales forecast inevitably plummeted because of the disaster, the index for the coming six months was -0.14 (previous survey +0.88) and that for profitability also -0.14 (+0.60).

Despite the current uncertainties, the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be rather bullish. 65% (69% in the Fall 2010 survey) are looking for further growth and 29% (28% in Fall 2010) expecting to sustain their current level. 5% (2% in Fall 2010) are planning to downsize, but only 1% (four companies out of the surveyed 437) are considering withdrawing from the market.

In the section relating to the disaster, this survey shows, that reports in media regarding a mass-exodus of foreign companies and executives from Tokyo was grossly exaggerated. Only 1% of the companies relocated abroad, 5% elsewhere in Japan, 61% of the executives remained in office, 21% worked remotely and only 7% moved abroad (8% to other parts of Japan. Currently 96% of the companies operated normally (or close to). The main current problems the respondents reported were concerns for the ongoing nuclear accident (28%), economic downturn (20%), shortage of electricity (18%) and overreaction in foreign media (17%). Regarding the influence on business, 43% expects some negative impact, 18% see no impact, 17% some positive impact, 11% a strong negative impact and 1% strong positive impact.

To download the full report, click below:
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey Report - Spring 2011 (1.8 Mb)

Download all comments from respondents:
Comments regarding Strategies in Japan (22 kb)
General Comments (36 kb)

Disaster related comments:
Comments to Company Reaction (23 kb)
Comments to Personal Reaction (17 kb)
Comments to Current Status (14 kb)
Comments to Main Problem (22 kb)
Comments to Influence on Business (18 kb)

The next survey will be conducted in October 2011. The results from that survey will be published early November 2011.

If you need more information regarding the survey, contact your chamber or the FCCJ Office.
Printed versions of the report are also available at the FCCJ Office for a modest fee.

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