Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture and fishing dominated the Japanese economy until the 40s, and they began to decline with the economic boom of the following decade. Despite this, these sectors are still important in today’s Japanese economy. In 2018, Japan produced 9.7 million tons of rice, along with sugar beet, sugarcane, persimmon and vegetables. The Japanese fishing industry is also important: The industry has long been focused on the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which is one of the world’s largest markets for fresh, frozen and processed seafood.
In recent years, huge deposits of rare stones have been found off the coast of Japan. In 2019, Japan was the world’s second largest producer of iodine, the fourth of bismuth, the ninth of sulfur, and the tenth largest producer of gypsum.
The automotive industry in Japan is one of the most prominent and largest industries in the world. The automotive industry in Japan grew rapidly from 1970 to 1990, and in the 1980s and 1990s surpassed the United States as the world’s leading manufacturer, with 13 million cars produced each year. The country is home to a large number of companies that produce cars: Japanese automotive manufacturers include Toyota, Honda, Daihatsu, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Isuzu, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Mitsuoka.
In Japan, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries grew strongly in the late 1980s. Japanese pharmaceutical production has grown in recent decades due to the rise in the population’s old age index. In 2006, the Japanese pharmaceutical market was the second largest individual market in the world. With sales of $60 billion, it constitutes approximately 11 percent of the world market.
Oil, gas and petrochemical
The petrochemical industry grew moderately in the late 1980s as a result of continued economic growth. The highest growth is recorded in the production of plastic, polystyrene and polypropylene. Petrochemical prices remained high due to increased demand in the new developing Asian economies.
The Japanese electronics industry is one of the largest in the world: the country has a large number of companies that produce televisions, camcorders, audio and video players, etc. Japanese companies have pioneered a number of important innovations, including transistor radio and Walkman, the first series-produced handsets, VHS recorder, solar cells and LCD screens.
Tourism remains a vital part of the Japanese economy and Japanese culture. A record 31.9 million foreign visitors came to Japan in 2019 and the country was forecast to achieve its goal of welcoming 40 million tourists in 2020, according to 2022 data released by the Japan National Tourism Organization.