126.9 million Japanese people import US$648.6 billion worth of products works out to US$5,100 per Japanese

Statistical review of the ten largest imports into Japan during 2015 indicating oil as the highest dollar valued import product at US$151 billion and electronic equipment as the second highest dollar valued product imported at US$90.2 billion. It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the fastest growing import product are pharmaceuticals. The increase in pharmaceutical imports is probably because of Japan’s aging population who require increasing health care including medications.

Source: Import/Export Data

Japan’s Top 10 Imports

April 5, 2016
by Daniel Workman

Japanese imports amounted to US$648.6 billion in 2015, down 24.2% since 2011 and down 20.1% from 2014 to 2015. Japan’s top 10 imports accounted for roughly two-thirds (66.1%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Japanese imports represent 3.5% of total global imports.

From a continental perspective, 61.5% of Japan’s total imports by value in 2015 were purchased from other Asian countries.

European trade partners supplied 15% of import sales to Japan while 12.7% worth originated from North America.

Given Japan’s population of 126.9 million people, its total $648.6 billion in 2015 imports translates to roughly $5,110 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Japan’s Top 10 Imports:

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Japan’s import purchases during 2015. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Japan.

• Oil: US$151 billion (23.3% of total Japanese imports)
• Electronic equipment: $90.2 billion (13.9%)
• Machines, engines, pumps: $59.5 billion (9.2%)
• Medical, technical equipment: $23.3 billion (3.6%)
• Pharmaceuticals: $23.1 billion (3.6%)
• Ores, slag, ash: $21 billion (3.2%)
• Vehicles: $19.1 billion (2.9%)
• Organic chemicals: $14.2 billion (2.2%)
• Plastics: $13.8 billion (2.1%)
• Clothing (not knit or crochet): $13.5 billion (2.1%)

Pharmaceuticals had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 15.8% for the 5-year period starting in 2010.

In second place for improving import sales were vehicles, up 7.3%.

All other top 10 categories posted declines, led by a 46.1% drop for organic chemicals.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under this article’s other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.