Japan is known for being a technology powerhouse. From Sony to Nintendo, the country has produced some of the most innovative and iconic companies in history. And yet Japan’s tech industry continues to grow at an astonishing rate as it creates new companies that make global waves daily like LINE and Rakuten. This article will introduce you to top Japanese tech startups worth keeping your eyes on! Read Less
Why You Should Care About Japanese Tech Companies
Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, and it has some of the most innovative op tech companies. Yet Japan is not typically known for its op tech industry. The op tech industry in Japan is highly competitive, with many different players vying for attention. It also faces challenges like an aging population and a shrinking workforce. Despite these obstacles, many op tech companies are leading this space in innovation and creativity!
1. Line Corporation
Line Corporation started in the late 1990s as a mobile service provider in Japan. The line is one of the most popular messaging apps in many Asian countries, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
NHN Japan Corporation and Naver Corporation founded the line. It was an instant messaging app that allowed users to chat with friends through their mobile phones. As the app became more popular in Asia, it became known as “the app that replaces phone calls.” The company also expanded globally by opening offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo.
Since its inception, the company has grown tremendously, with over 1 billion downloads across all its apps – Line Launcher, Line Camera, Line Play & Line Music. They have also created over 500 million stickers for use across the various apps.
2. Rakuten Inc.
This company is Japan’s largest e-commerce company. They are also the first Japanese company to IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
Rakuten Inc. was founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani, under the name Rakuten Ichiba, as an online shopping mall. The term “Rakuten” comes from the English word “relax.”
In 2004, Mikitani was named Rakuten president and led Rakuten to become Japan’s largest e-commerce company due to its focus on customer service and quality.
In 2007, Rakuten launched its global business through an alliance with Yahoo! Japan called “Rakuten Marketing” and established a U.S. subsidiary, “Rakuten USA,” in 2008 after it acquired Buy.com.
Rakuten is another large e-commerce company based out of Tokyo. Founded in 1999, Rakuten operates online stores such as Amazon.com, CDnow, Book Depository, etc. Its primary business model involves selling products from other retailers via their website.
3. GMO Internet Group Co. Ltd.
GMO Internet Group is a primary internet service provider headquartered in Osaka, Japan. They offer broadband services, including DSL, fiber optic cable, wireless networks, VoIP, and cloud computing. Their core businesses include data center operations, network infrastructure, content delivery, and web hosting.
The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.
GMO Internet Group Co. Ltd. is a Japanese multinational internet and telecommunications company based in Tokyo, Japan. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of $2.4 billion as of June 2018. It provides web hosting, e-commerce, internet infrastructure, online advertising services, and artificial intelligence technology for consumer and enterprise markets worldwide. GMO Internet Group Co., Ltd was established in 1994 by Dr. James P McCauley III with a capital of J.P. ¥400 million to pioneer Internet technology in Japan going public at the end of 1996 after raising funds through an IPO in December 1995 with a capital injection from Softbank Corporation Limited (SFL).
4. NTT Docomo Inc.
NTT Docomo is the largest telecommunications company in Japan and was established in 1993. It has a total value of about US$62 billion. NTT Docomo offers various services, including mobile phones, broadband internet, e-mail, and online content to its customers. In 2016, it had about 42 million subscribers for its mobile phone services.
In 2015, the company announced that it would be cutting 5,000 jobs from its workforce by 2017 to focus on automation and artificial intelligence to replace some of the employees laid off work.
Docomo is a telecommunications firm operating in Japan. Founded in 1985, they provide fixed-line telecommunication services, cellular phone services, and digital television services.
5. SoftBank Mobile Communications
Softbank Mobile Communications provides mobile communications services throughout Japan. SMC started as a subsidiary of SoftBank but became independent in 2012.
SoftBank Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. It has operations in Japan and the U.S. and was established in 1990. It also provides internet service to customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe and operates Sprint’s network in the U.S.
SoftBank Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp and was established in 1990 with operations of Japan and the U.S. and providing internet service to their customers for three regions of the world: Japan, the US, Europe Sprint network operator for the United States
6. KDDI Corporation
KDDI is a Japanese telecommunication company that was established in 1995.
This article is about the Top Japanese Tech Companies, KDDI Corporation, among them. KDDI is a Japanese telecommunication company that was established in 1995. It has its head office in Tokyo, and it’s divided into two main business segments – fixed-line mobile services and converged services. The company provides fixed-line, internet connection, broadband, wireless voice communication service, and 4G LTE mobile data services to both consumers and businesses.
7. Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Fujitsu Labs is a multinational corporation providing I.T. consulting, systems integration, hardware engineering, software development, and related services. Based in Yokohama, Japan, Fujitsu Lab’s headquarters were established in 1881.
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is a Japanese multinational company. It deals with several industries such as I.T. solutions, ICT products, and semiconductors.
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. was founded in 1966, and it currently has several research laboratories worldwide, including Japan, Europe, the United States, and China.
The company reported revenue of $6 billion in 2017. It currently employs over 60,000 people globally, with principal offices in Tokyo, Beijing, and Munich. Fujitsu is ranked 24th on the list of the top Japanese technology companies by revenue for 2017.
7. Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It was founded in 1910 through the merger of Shibaura Seisakusho and Tokyo Denki.
Hitachi is a leading supplier of power generation and nuclear power plant technologies and services. Other products include construction machinery, semiconductors, electronic devices, telecommunication systems, and personal computer parts. Hitachi carries out research & development in a wide range of technologies, including semiconductor devices & systems; storage devices; automotive electronics; medical imaging equipment; defense electronics & security systems; nuclear reactors & boilers; power-generation equipment such as gas turbines for thermal power plants and wind turbines. In 2010 it had about 13% share in the global market for steam turbine generators with 437 units installed worldwide.
8. NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in semiconductors, computer servers, networking solutions, display technologies, industrial automation, and energy conservation.
9. Panasonic Corporation
Panasonic is a global technology leader dedicated to creating high value-added “new growth industries” by combining resources with advanced science and technology. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Panasonic had annual sales of approximately USD 58 billion and employed roughly 88,000 people on March 31, 2017.
10. Sony Corporation
Sony is a multinational electronic goods manufacturer headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. Founding on November 23, 1946, today, the group employs around 200,000 workers globally.
11. Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba is a multinational information and communication technology company headquartered in Tokyo, with affiliates and investments spread across numerous sectors. As of December 31, 2016, Toshiba reported consolidated revenues of 968.1 trillion yen.
12. Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Corporation is a multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota City, Toyko, Japan. Founded on April 17, 1937, Toyota currently produces automobiles under the Toyota brand name and Lexus luxury cars.
13. Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational automotive holding company headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Honda designs, engineers, markets, distributes, sells and leases motor vehicles, motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, marine engines, lawnmowers, snowmobiles, personal watercraft, and all-terrain vehicles.
14. Canon Inc.
Canon Incorporated is a Japanese multinational photography and optical products company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Founding as Kyocera in 1941, Canon was spun off into public ownership in 1989. In 2014, Canon acquired Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Inc…
15. SoftBank Group Corp.
Softbank Group Corp. is a telecommunications service provider founded in 1983. Its business includes mobile communications networks, broadband access lines, fixed network infrastructure, data centers, Internet connectivity, cloud computing, eCommerce platforms, financial institutions, media content distribution, entertainment businesses, real estate, retail stores, and venture capital funds.
16. GMO Internet, Inc.
GMO Internet, Inc. is a Japanese internet portal and web search engine company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1999, GMO operates websites such as Google Japan, Yahoo! Japan, Naver Japan, Rakuten Ichiba, etc.
17. Bandai Namco Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Bandai Namco Entertainment Co. is a video game developer and publisher headquartered in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan. In 1994, BANDAI Namco Games developed games for multiple gaming consoles, handheld devices, P.C., and smartphones.
18. Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is one of the largest video game manufacturers worldwide. Founded in 1889, Nintendo is based in Kyoto, Japan. They produce hardware, software, accessories, and other items related to their popular franchises, including the Super Smash Brothers series, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Splatoon, Kirby, Donkey Kong Country, Metroid, etc.
19. Sega Sammy Holdings Limited
Sega Sammy Holdings Limited is a Japanese multinational corporation engaged primarily in developing home electronics, arcade machines, amusement rides, toys, music, sports equipment, clothing, food, and publishing. Based in Shinjuku, Tokyo, they were formed from Sega Enterprises, Ltd. and Sammy Corporation in 2012.
20. Square Enix Company, Limited
Square Enix Company, Limited is a Japanese video game development studio established in 1985. Their headquarters are located in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. They develop titles for various systems, including PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Wii U, 3DS, PS Vita, PSP, and Microsoft Kinect.
21. Konami Digital Entertainment Gmbh
KONAMI CORPORATION is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation involved in the creation, production, marketing, sale, licensing, and distribution of interactive entertainment products throughout the globe. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, KONAMI designs, manufactures, markets, distributes, licenses, and manages consumer electronic products under the brand names “KONAMI” or “KING OF POKER.”
22. Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, formerly Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, is a division within Sony Computer Entertainment responsible for creating original intellectual property for the PlayStation platform.
23. Capcom Co., Ltd.
Capcom Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer and publisher. Founded on April 1, 1975, by Keiji Inafune, the company developed Mega Man, which debuted in 1987. Since then, they have produced numerous successful action role-playing games, fighting games, beat them ups, puzzle games, horror games, and more.
24. Marvelous AQL, Inc.
Marvelous AQL, Inc. is a video game publisher and developer based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1996, MAQ originally published visual novels before branching out into several genres. They specialize in JRPGs, dating simulators, adventure games, simulation games, rhythm games, and social games.
The Impact of Tech Industry on the Economy of Japan
The best tech companies to work for are not always determined by how much they offer in compensation or benefits. The best employers empower their employees, allow them to grow and develop into the best versions of themselves, and most importantly, give back to society and help improve the lives of others.