GREAT Week Japan 2014

Watch the video to find out the benefits of attending a GREAT Week Japan trade mission from the delegates themselves. 

The GREAT Week trade mission briefing took place at the Grand Arc Hanzomon Hotel in Chiyoda-ku. UK Trade & Investment’s Head of Trade, Richard Buttrey, welcomed the delegates to Japan as he gave a short presentation about the Japanese market and the advantages of doing business in Japan, including the strengths of the market.

Saleem D’Aronville, Creative Director at AOKI Inc., who recently participated in a live webinar organised by UKTI, shared his vast knowledge and experience of doing business in the Japanese market, gave essential tips on succeeding in Japan, and was also on hand to take questions from the floor. “Some of the characteristics of Japanese consumers are the high disposable income, being early adopters, hobbies being important, seasonality having a massive impact, being discerning consumers, and the heavy use of micro-blogging,” he said.

Presentations were also given by Hideyuki Kobayashi, Department Manager of the International Business Department at Rakuten, Inc.; Kazuya Inoue, from the Strategic Sales department of Yahoo! Japan; and Katsuki Oshiden, Japan Online Sales Executive at Twitter, Inc.

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Mr Kobabyashi introduced the Rakuten business and spoke about Japanese e-marketplaces, and also shared the reasons why UK brands wishing to do business in Japan should consider using Rakuten. “Becoming a merchant on Rakuten is worth the cost because we provide a solid customer base and access to a Rakuten consultant to advise you, making market entry much easier,” he explained.

Mr Inoue gave a brief history of Yahoo! Japan followed by an analysis of changing internet search and mobile phone trends and what this means for companies in Japan.

Mr Oshiden revealed that Twitter really took off in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, and explored what makes Twitter such a useful marketing tool for British companies who are seeking to break into the Japanese market. As people are increasingly turning to Twitter before making purchases, he could not emphasise enough the need to localise in this instance.

Approximately 42 UK companies from the fashion, retail and luxury, and food and drink sectors participated in the event, which was organised by UKTI. The five-day event included a showcase at the Ambassador’s residence within the British Embassy compound and a press meeting and photo opportunity with Lord Livingston. Delegates were able to meet buyers and establish points of first contact through networking opportunities. A launch reception was held in Marunouchi – one of the main shopping areas of the Shopping is GREAT campaign, which ran at the same time as GREAT Week Japan.


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You can find out more about the event by reading our blog post Shopping is GREAT in Japan.

If you would like to explore the Japanese market but are unsure of whether to commit to a Trade Mission or not, you may find our Trade Mission Insight article useful.

To find out if you could be doing business in Japan, please Send Us Your Enquiry.

Article by Vanessa Holden, November 2014