As Japan is the largest net importer of agricultural, fishery and forestry products in the world, its export capability of such products is minimal. In the Japanese Fiscal Year 1995 (April 1995 - March 1996), it is estimated that the government of Japan will spend only $3.1 million to promote exports of agricultural, fishery, and forestry products. There are no export subsidies, credit programs, transportation subsidies, and tax and investment incentives in Japan. However, Japan's rank as top importer also makes it the top market for agricultural promotions by a host of countries.
The government of Japan administers several relatively small projects to promote Japanese products. The government of Japan uses existing distribution channels in export markets to develop model test marketing projects for agriculture, fisheries and forestry products ($430,000). The government established a unified Japanese brand logo, conducts market research, and collects data on other countries' consumer demand ($740,000). Another project involves the expansion of Japanese shops on foreign markets and the implementation of taste testing and business exchange opportunities ($1.5 million). The government also is developing methodologies for sales promotion and market research ($90,000). Forty thousand dollars is allocated to the promotion of fresh fruit exports; $100,000 to forestry byproduct exports (lacquer and tree oils); $150,000 to the promotion of forestry product exports; and $80,000 to fishery product export promotion.
Not included as promotion activities, but significant nevertheless, are model projects to cut the costs of production of fruit for export ($1 million) and the establishment of a quarantine area ($410,000).
The FAS agricultural trade officer estimated that more than 20 countries other than the United States planned to spend $55.5 million to promote their agricultural, fisheries and forestry products in Japan in 1996. Almost one-half of all promotion expenditures are attributed to Australia, followed by much lesser expenditures by Canada, France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway and many others. Meat and poultry account for more than one-half the estimated expenditures by competitors in Japan, followed by dairy products, wine and processed foods. Many of the promotion organizations mentioned in the Australia, Canada, New Zealand and EU summaries play large roles in making their countries' products known to Japanese consumers.