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Japan Global Number 1 Branded Country

Japan has retained the title of the country with the world’s best reputation according to the 2019 survey by FutureBrand Country Index. Ranked top for its brand ‘power’, ‘purpose’, and ‘experience’ it’s taken the top place beating the 75 other countries in the index.

We breakdown exactly how the East-Asian nation has managed to retain its top spot and exactly what this means for potential investors in the region.

Read on to find out more…

Why did FutureBrand award Japan the top spot?

The FutureBrand Country Index is a ranking of different countries based on sentiment and keywords used online associated to this particular country. Taken from the World’s Bank Global top 75 countries, FutureBrand reorders these nations on the basis of how individuals rate a country’s purpose and experience.

Around 2,500 ‘informed opinion’ individuals were given the chance to rate and provide feedback on 7 countries each on a variety of factors. In addition, the index used data from social media across 8 different languages to determine a sentiment around Values System, Quality of Life, Business Potential, Heritage & Culture, Tourism, and Products & Services.

The result?

Japan was regarded as the top performing country from the amalgamation of survey and social media data – a position it held in 2014 too.

Key statistics:

58% of respondents considered Japan to perform very strongly in relation to quality of life.

56% of respondents regard Japan as a leader in environmental conscientiousness.

80% of respondents recognise Japan for its advancements in technology.

48% reported momentum on social media for cultural significance.

Japanese Culture

It’s no surprise that Japan ranked highly among respondents for culture. Renowned worldwide for its rich history, heritage, and natural beauty – it has managed to preserve its status as a cultural treasure.

Everywhere you turn, the country is dotted with reminders of its traditions and unique cultural appeal. Whether it’s temples, tea houses, or swathes of cherry blossoms; it has much to draw upon for cultural significance.

Respondents from the survey were quoted: “Japan has an incredible culture and history, really on par with much of the West. They’ve also done a better job of preserving it than us. We could learn a lot from them.”

Notable highlights include Kyoto. Ranked as the top destination to travel in Japan, Kyoto was once the capital of the nation and retains much of its history with castles, shrines, and traditional geisha tea rooms in abundance.

The famous cherry blossom festivals across the country are internationally renowned and features heavily in photographic associations with Japan. According to folklore, the cherry petals represent life itself. Some believe that they signify the reincarnated souls of fallen warriors. The whole country comes alive for the season, with cherry themed confectionary and even a cherry blossom ‘forecast’ across each region.

Japan has cultural heritage and traditions in abundance and with historical sites and unique festivals all across the country in swathes – it’s no surprise they ranked highly for this category.

Japanese Tourism

Tourism in Japan is a flourishing business with an astonishing 31 million visitors in 2018 expected to rise to over 40 million in 2020.

This correlates with the survey data, which suggested that over 70% of respondents would consider Japan as a top holiday destination. Food, Tradition, Culture, and Beautiful all ranked as top keywords associated with the country online, supporting the reputation that Japan has worked hard to project to prospective visitors.

With the upcoming Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, there have been country-wide efforts to encourage international travellers in the lead-up to and after the events.

Interestingly, Chinese tourists alone make up over 25% of international visitors. Despite historic tensions between the two countries, visitors from China attend for the easy access to western goods, luxury lifestyle, and it’s also a top destination for adventure winter holidays.

In fact, Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern fly to 16 points in Japan from 9 Chinese cities. They are not alone. Finnair recently announced a direct route from Helsinki to the winter capital of Sapporo and Australasia have selected Japan as their ski destination of choice for years now.

Thanks to its increasing accessibility, unique selling points, and international events Japan ranked highly for the tourism category in the FutureBrand Index.

Quality of Life in Japan

Among respondents, Japan was considered one of the top countries for quality of life. In fact, 58% of respondents considered Japan to perform very strongly in relation to quality of life.

Plus, according to the better life index, Japan ranks well for unemployment, health & education, and scores exceptionally high for life expectancy compared to the world average.

Although Tokyo is notorious as a bustling metropolis with a shortage of housing – the same cannot be said for the rest of the country. In the northern reaches, there is considerable investment from both domestic and international developers. This demonstrates that overall, the standard of living is rising throughout the country, not only in the centre.

With its exceptional infrastructure, abundance of stunning nature, and world-class healthcare system it comes as no surprise that the country has ranked so well for quality of life.

Business and Investment in Japan

Japan has always done particularly well exporting its businesses as brands. Historically, this has included car manufacturers and technology companies. Yet, recently it has seen success sharing its clothing and celebrities as household names. Marie Kondo, Uniqlo, and SuperDry being just a few that you might recognise.

Investment in the country has been rising accordingly. Renowned for its foreign-business friendly policies, competitive markets, and internal stability – it is widely considered a sound place for both business and individuals to invest. In fact, 51 of the Fortune Global 500 are headquartered in Japan.

Land prices in the country have risen steadily in the past 11 years thanks to Japan’s increasing economic prosperity and rising interest from foreign investors. Investing in property presents an exciting opportunity for those looking to cash in on Japan’s success. Prices are low in relation European counterparts, ROI is relatively secure given Japan’s stability, and there is a gluttony of property coming to market in the lead up to the olympics.

What does this high ranking mean for investment in Japan?

Of course, different regions are performing that others for growth in Japan. The capital and surrounding metropolises present a stable – and predictable – option for property investment.

Yet, the area with the most growth in 2018 was Hokkaido, located to the north of the country. It houses some of the most famous ski resorts in the world for ski luxury. Property investment in the area has skyrocketed as a result. Indeed, commercial land prices rose 58.8% and residential 50% in 2018.

There are plenty of options for investment in resorts such as Niseko which have developed infrastructure and tourism heavily in recent years. Investing in condo next to the Ritz Carlton on main street may set you back a fair bit. However, there are affordable options too.

SnowDog Village and Raku Ichi present an exciting opportunity to potential investors, with sheek, affordable luxury on the ski slope’s doorstep.

Get in contact with us to find out more about investing in Niseko.

Links (Thanks to the below references for providing information to help us write this article!)

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