Japanese Cosmetics Market - Obstacles and Opportunities for European SMEs

This report has been undertaken in the framework of the new "Minerva Fellowship" programme initiated by the Centre in 2013 and is based on desk and field research as well as factual first-hand information. The information contained in the Report  reflects the views of the author only and not necessarily the views and position of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation,  the EU Commission or Japan authorities.

The rationale for a dedicated research and business guide for the cosmetics market and industry in Japan has been based on the fact that, although Japan is the second largest cosmetics market in the world, its specificity and complexity prevents European companies, in particular the SMEs, from exploring its full potential. Therefore, the research attempts to provide a contribution towards bridging an apparent information gap. More specifically, the Report attempts to provide an answer to the following questions:

  • What is the current state of the Japanese cosmetic market?
  • What are the new trends and promising sectors?
  • How to successfully enter the market: how to get support, how to find a distributor and handle major regulatory, administrative and cultural obstacles?

Together, a number of suggestive case studies of European successes and failures in Japan are provided.

The Report addresses all categories of European companies, with a special focus on SMEs (brands, IT and software companies, ingredients suppliers, packaging factories, retailers, laboratories, distributors, etc.) seeking to explore and succeed in the Japanese cosmetics market.

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