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 twentieth, survey was conducted between October 11 and 21, 2011.
Participating organizations included the ACCJ (American Chamber), ANZCCJ (Australia-New Zealand Chamber), ABC (Austrian Business Council), BCCJ (British Chamber), BLCCJ (Belgian-Luxembourg), 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).
This survey shows clearly that the problems and uncertainties caused by the 3/11 disaster are now to a large extent behind. All indicators, from views on the Japanese economy to the performance of the companies as well as their strategies for the future are more or less back to normal.
The Japanese economy for the next 6 months is expected to rebound from the disaster, the index (on a scale from +2 to -2) was now +0.31 (compared to -0.93 in spring 2011), and looking 12 months ahead, the companies see an even stronger turn for the better and the index was now +0.55, a significant improvement from the +0.08 in the previous survey.
The reported sales performance in the past six months was inevitably, because of the disaster, lower than in the previous, but not as much as expected, now +0.44 compared to +0.61 the spring survey. Similarly, the profitability had also deteriorated, but only marginally. now +0.46 now compared to +0.59. But the recovery can clearly be seen in the sales forecast for the coming six months, the index was +0.73 (previous survey -0.14) and a similar development can be seen for profitability, now +0.68 (-0.14).
The strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be rather bullish. 68% (65% in the spring 2011 survey) are looking for further growth and 29% (same as in spring 2011) expecting to sustain their current level. 2% (5% in spring 2011) are planning to downsize, but only 1% (four companies out of the surveyed 302) are considering withdrawing from the market.
This time the survey included two alternating questions; one regarding the effects of the strong yen, the other on the current influence of the 3/11 disaster. As for the strong yen, the main issue, as the respondents saw it, was that it had a negative influence on their business as their Japanese clients suffered (30%). 20% responded that it helped them improve profitability white 17% saw the currency issue in a longer term and has not changed their pricing strategies in Japan.
As for how the 3/11 disaster still affects their business and/or operations, 54% reported that business was back to normal, 24% still saw some difficulties while 13% reported that the disaster actually had improved their business from the level prior to 3/11.
To download the full report, click below:
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey Report - Fall 2011 (1.6Mb)
The report also includes commentary from Dr. William Schrade.
Dr. Schrade is a part time lecturer at the ICU, International Christian University
Download all comments from respondents:
Comments regarding Strategies in Japan (17 kb)
General Comments (14 kb)
Comments to the strong yen (23 kb)
Comments to current effects of 3/11 (18 kb)
The next survey will be conducted in April 2012. The results from that survey will be published late April 2012.
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.
REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS SURVEYS
The survey was supported by: