While consumption lags at home, rising wealth across the region is leading to greater demand for Japanese products.

Japan is deeply admired in Asia’s emerging economies, particularly in Southeast Asia, and Japanese brands seeking growth amid a sagging domestic economy should take note, a new report from J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific has found.

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While consumption lags at home, rising wealth across the region is leading to greater demand for Japanese products. “Japanese companies that once saw Southeast Asia as a production hub now view the region as a major target market as well,” the report notes.

Japanese products were seen as more appealing than any other nation’s output among a survey sample that included respondents in China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Although 64% of respondents said they were very likely to buy Japanese products, fewer respondents said they were very likely to purchase products made in the United States (52%), Germany (47%) or the United Kingdom (43%).

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Japan also frequently outperformed the West as an aspirational tourism destination. Respondents in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were more likely to say they wanted to visit Japan one day than to say the same about France or the United States.

Japan stood out among respondents as hard working, tech savvy, successful and reliable. However, the report also found that “more could be done to leverage other distinctly Japanese qualities, such as attention to detail and craftsmanship, as well as Japan’s youth-driven street cool and counter culture.”

For more information and to download the report in English and Japanese, visit J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific.

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