In this article we are going to list the top 20 companies in Japan in 2021. Click to skip ahead and jump to the top 10 companies in Japan in 2021. Japan has always been one of the most fascinating countries in the world, with a rich culture which is also among the oldest cultures in the world, with kingdoms being formed in the country between 4th to 9th century AD, even though human presence in the country has been noted as far back as 30,000 BC. It is also among the most influential countries in the world and the impact of its culture can be seen in many countries around the world.
After World War II, you would have forgiven Japan for being unable to be a major economy or even a medium sized one, what with losing the war and losing 2.5 to 3.1 million people in the war, which even for a country with a population of over 70 million at the time, was a major loss. The final and arguably the most significant blow was dropping two atom bombs on two major Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was the act which finally led to Japan surrendering. The fact that not only was Japan able to rebuild these two cities in the coming decades, but also became a powerful country with an immense economy surpassed by barely any other country is not only nothing short of a miracle but also signifies the work ethic of the Japanese and their never giving up attitude.
Japan now has one of the most highly developed economies in the world, which in terms of nominal GDP is the third largest economy in the world, as well as being the second largest developed economy in the world. Only the US and China have bigger economies and no one in Europe has yet been able to overtake Japan. It is also among both the largest importers as well as exporters in the world. Japan’s population is now over 125 million and it now has the second largest foreign exchanges in the world as well, which are currently worth over $1.3 trillion.
The country is known as among the most innovative and technologically advanced countries in the world, experimenting in AI and other technologies, and if you visit the country, you might think that you’ve stepped into another world, or maybe moved 20 years into the future, such is the level of adaptation of technology in the country. You may even be curious about the 16 cool things you can only buy in Japan. It also leads the way in several measures considering global patent filings. This explains why Japan is home to the largest electronics goods industry in the world, as well as the third largest automobile manufacturer, with its biggest automobile companies also making our list of the top 20 Japanese companies in 2021. Even now, Japan focuses on products which involve cutting edge technology such as robots or production of hybrid vehicles. Because of these advancements and tight regulations ensured by the country, it has a very high standard of living and ranks extremely high on the Human Development Index as well.
Of course, its not all sunshine for Japan. There are several issues plaguing the nation despite the aforementioned achievements, including an extremely ageing population (Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Meanwhile, it also has the highest proportion of ageing population in the world due to declining birth rates, and the population is actually declining have reached a high of 128 million in 2010. It is expected that if trends continue, the population will fall to less than 100 million. This has led to a higher expense incurred by the country to take care of the ageing population while a low proportion of youth will hamper economic progress. Also, while earlier I lauded Japan’s work ethic, it can be a little extreme, with people often being overworked and those who don’t go above and beyond the call of duty considered as lazy and not as proper contributors to society. This kind of toxic environment can be terrible for a person’s mental health, which is why the country is known for high suicide rates.
Of course, all these statistics are bound to take a significant hit in 2020, due to the impact of the worst pandemic in a century as the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world. Just like every other developed country in the world, Japan has been in a recession as the country, while avoiding national lockdowns like other countries especially those in Europe, businesses have been affected as global supply chains have been impacted and tourism has almost completely halted. Luckily for the country, it has had one of the best responses to the pandemic due to its effective response, established culture of health where people are already encouraged to wear masks and sanitize frequently and some think that a milder strain of the virus has found its way into the country. Its death rate per capita is one of the lowest in the world, which means that once a vaccine is found, the economy should rebound quickly.
The top 20 Japanese companies in 2021 are from various industries, from automobile to electronics to financial services and insurance. These companies have a combined revenue of more than $1.7 trillion while their net assets top $12.6 trillion, with some companies alone holding more than $1 trillion worth of assets, especially in the finance sector. These companies also have profits topping $927 billion. To determine our rankings, we have considered the revenues, profits, assets and market cap as these metrics are the most appropriate indicators of a top company, with all the data being taken from the Forbes Global 2000 list. So let’s take a look at the companies which are the backbone of one of the biggest economies in the world, starting with number 20:
20. Seven & I Holdings
Total revenue (in billions of dollars): 61
Total profits (in billions of dollars): 2
Total assets (in billions of dollars): 55.6
Total market value (in billions of dollars): 29.3
A diversified retail group, Seven & I Holdings turned a century old in 2020, employing more than 55,000 people and is considered to be among the biggest retailers in the world.