Inquiring minds want to know: What is Japan’s largest company?
Japan is a developed country with the third largest economy in the world. We frequently buy products from a number of well-known Japanese brands without giving much thought to the fact that they are Japanese-made.
I will be discussing the largest companies in Japan as well as providing a general overview of the Japanese business environment today.
Top largest companies in Japan
It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of Nintendo. The company single-handedly changed the course of the video game industry in the late ’80s, and its name has become synonymous with the sector ever since.
As of this writing, Nintendo is the #481st largest company in the world, and the #10 largest in Japan. The company’s market cap has increased to $50.67 billion, putting it in the top ten for the first time.
Despite having its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, Nintendo has international operations thanks to its European, North American, and Canadian affiliates.
Many well-known and successful companies are subsidiaries of Softbank, a multinational communications and internet conglomerate. With a holding company structure and names like Softbank Group Corp., Yahoo and PayPay are two of SoftBank’s most successful brands.
Sprint, a major U.S. telecommunications and internet provider, is also part of the company’s portfolio.
As of this writing, SoftBank has a market cap of $59.66 billion and is ranked at #44 on Forbes’s 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies. The business is ranked at #234 on Fortune’s Global 500 list.
To put it simply, Keyence is a global corporation engaged in the production, research and development, and retail sale of automation and inspection devices, as well as industrial safety instruments.
In this category, Keyence produces a number of products, such as laser markers, automation sensors, safety laser scanners, microscopes, and other types of measuring equipment.
The firm began trading in 1972 and is now worth $84.84 billion.
Keyence is another firm that regularly appears on the Forbes 2000 list; in 2022, it was ranked at #723. The Osaka-based firm has a workforce of over 8,000 people and maintains a presence in Europe via its subsidiaries in Germany and Italy.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
Another company on the list is Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, or NTT for short.
The Tokyo-based holding company was founded in 1985 and is primarily involved in the telecommunications industry through its many subsidiaries.
The telecommunications industry is NTT’s bread and butter, but it’s not the only thing they do. Some of the holding company’s subsidiaries specialize in areas like security, real estate, finance, engineering, and data processing, among others.
NTT currently has a market value of $95.73 billion, placing it at #52 on Forbes 2000 and #83 on Fortune’s Global 500 lists.
Japan Post Holdings
Japan Post Holdings, a diversified conglomerate with interests in banking, insurance, and logistics, is responsible for four main areas of business (including management of Japan’s mail delivery and post office services). The Japanese government’s 57% stake in the company in April 2021 was reduced to zero by the end of the year when the company was privatized. However, the Japanese government retains the largest stock share in the company to this day. In the most recent fiscal year, Japan Post Holdings earned $4.2 billion on sales of $106.6 billion. The total value of its assets is estimated at $2.9 trillion.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
With assets of more than $2.2 trillion, the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is a behemoth of the Japanese banking and finance industry despite having only been established in 2002. It has offices all over the world and is publicly traded on two stock exchanges (Tokyo and New York). Recent reports indicate a profit of $4.9 billion as the company expands and acquires other businesses.
Sony is a household name all over the world as a result of its status as a multinational conglomerate with interests in the gaming, entertainment, music, and electronics industries, among others. Its film studio, Sony Pictures, is responsible for the Jumanji, Men in Black, and Ghostbusters franchises, and it has made a significant impact on the consumer appliance market (especially with the PlayStation brand). And the likes of One Direction, Céline Dion, and the Foo Fighters can all be found on Sony Music’s roster. The total value of the company’s assets is $250.7 billion, and the company’s profits in 2021 were $10.1 billion on sales of $79.7 billion.
Toyota, a Japanese automaker, is a household name around the world and consistently ranks among the top 10 automakers in the industry. Toyota city, Aichi prefecture, is home to their headquarters. Although “Toyota” may sound like it was taken from the name of the city, “Toyoda Sakichi” was actually the company’s namesake. Mr. Toyoda founded his weaving machine company in 1918 after inventing the automatic loom that would later become the company’s namesake. They currently maintain a sizable network of factories and overseas outposts. Their global sales of $9.5 billion in 2020 made them the most successful automaker in the world.
Canon, Inc. was founded in 1937 and is a Japanese electronics manufacturer. Their high-quality digital devices, which include some of the most well-known digital cameras, printers, and scanners in the world, have helped make them famous. In particular, their Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras have become wildly popular around the world thanks to their high functionality and performance standards. As of the year 2021, the firm employs over 180,000 people worldwide across its network of over 220 offices.
Kobe, Hyogo prefecture is home to Asics, a sportswear manufacturer. They focus on making a variety of sports gear, including high-quality running shoes and clothing that is worn by professional and Olympic athletes. In 1949, Asics was founded by Onitsuka Kihachiro as a small private company with only four employees to produce basketball shoes. From the 1950s onward, they experienced explosive growth, eventually controlling half of Japan’s sports-shoe market. Asics’s motto, “Sound mind, sound body,” is based on the idea that a healthy mind and body are necessary for a successful and happy life.
A Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli was established in 1985. Thousands upon thousands of people all over the world are devoted to their films, and you have likely seen or heard of some of them. The films Princess Mononoke (1997), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Spirited Away (2001), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) are all excellent examples of their work. People of all ages can find something to enjoy in their films, from the fascinating plots to the charismatic protagonists and the unforgettable soundtracks. Traditional movies from the 1980s to the early 2000s feature stunning visuals drawn by skilled animators (though CGI and 3D have been used in more recent works). The Mitaka neighborhood of Tokyo is home to the entertaining Ghibli Museum, and in the following November, they will unveil the first phase of their very own Ghibli Park.
Nissin was founded in 1948 and is a major player in the Japanese food industry. They first introduced instant ramen noodles to the world in 1958 and became an instant success. Since then, their addictive instant noodles have won over customers all over the world with their convenience and, most importantly, their flavor. Their most popular instant noodle brand is “CUP NOODLE,” which has expanded to include a wide variety of flavors over the years, such as the original soy source, salt, seafood, miso, and curry, to name a few. In Yokohama, you can visit the CUP NOODLE MUSEUM to learn about the fascinating history of the company and even make your own instant noodles! They produce a large number of different food items, not just instant noodles. These include pasta, frozen meals, sweets, and drinks. Their goods can be found in supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan.
Kokisai Denshin Denwa began operations in 1953 as a government-owned company. The current iteration of KDDI was formed in 2000 when KDD, DDI Corp, and IDO Corp merged. The Tokyo-based telecommunications firm made $6.2 billion in profits on revenue of $49.3 billion in 2021.
The KDDI Group operates in a variety of sectors, including finance, media, marketing, and education, and their brands include au by KDDI (the second-largest wireless carrier in Japan, with over 60,4 customers), au HIKARI, and FIFTH.
Since the 1980s, Japan has been widely recognized as a major exporter of automobiles and motorcycles, with Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Nissan capturing disproportionately large shares of global markets.
Still, Honda, widely recognized as the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturer, is among the industry’s leading names. The $121.8 billion in 2021 revenue the company projects as a result of this achievement is unprecedented.
Honda, one of Japan’s biggest corporations, has expanded into the industrial sector in recent years and is a leader in the fields of AI and robotics. It made $3.9 billion in profit last year on assets worth $201.3 billion.
One of Mitsubishi’s four major constituent firms, Mitsubishi Corporation of Tokyo, is among Japan’s largest corporations by market capitalization. Its energy division (which deals in gas and oil transactions and investments) is a major moneymaker, and the company’s other holdings span a wide range of sectors, from finance to manufacturing to the food industry.
More than $3.1 billion in profit was made by Mitsubishi Corporation in 2021, and the firm’s assets were worth about $179.7 billion.
Which industry is booming in Japan?
Robotics and High-Tech Production
For a long time, Japan was the undisputed leader in high-tech production and robotics. Continuation is planned for the year 2022. Japan’s long reign as a manufacturing powerhouse has helped it amass the world’s third-largest GDP.
What are the top industries in Japan?
Automobiles, consumer electronics (see Electronics industry in Japan), computers, semiconductors, copper, and iron and steel are among Japan’s most valuable exports. Additionally important to Japan’s economy are petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, bioindustry, shipbuilding, aerospace, textiles, and processed foods.
Japanese corporations aim to make the world a better place by creating and selling cutting-edge goods that benefit humanity. Although Japanese goods are widely available today, what most people don’t realize is that Japan has had to fight through innumerable obstacles over the years to become as successful as it is. We trust you gained some insight into some of Japan’s most well-known corporations, and if you get the chance, we urge you to try Japanese goods; you never know which ones might become your all-time favorites!