Reading Time: minutes

Japan maintains its position as one of the Philippines’ strongest trade partner despite the strong government alliances being built with China. To date, Japanese investment is pegged at $1.24 billion, aiming to produce 16,000 jobs in multiple industries.

Several Japanese firms pledged to invest in the country’s manufacturing, agriculture, retail, real estate, automotive, and education sectors. The influx of foreign investment is indicative of strong economic stability of the Philippines as it continues to foster a healthy business environment.

Here are the listed projects currently registered to the Department of Trade and Industry:

Name of Company

Project Type Funding (in USD)
Mitsubishi Corporation Affordable Housing

76 million

Mitsui Ok Lines Magsaysay Maritime Academy

5.3 million


(Subsidiary of Itochu Corporation’s subsidiary)

Waste-to-Energy Project / Biogas

19.2 million

ISE Foods

Large scale poultry farm

250 million

Sumitomo Wiring Systems

Manufacturing Facility

46 million


The Department of Finance also mentions that the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is one of the 13 major business groups supporting to reduce the corporate income tax and rationalize fiscal incentives in the Philippines. In the letter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte last July 8, they are also pushing for the improvement of property and valuation system and the implementation of the new excise tax scheme.

Investing in real estate, infrastructure

Japan also maintains its stronghold over specific industries such as real estate and infrastructure. More firms are locating in key next wave cities in the Philippines such as Terumo that located its facility in Laguna Technopark.

Namura’s real estate arm is also looking to develop malls with popular department store chain, Isetan Mitsukoshi. It is also aiming to develop 1400 housing units and 30,00 retail spaces in the country.

Apart from its interest in real estate, Japan is also the leading investor in six economies in the Southeast Asian region, pegged at $367 billion. The Philippines is the third country with the highest Japanese-partnered infrastructure next to Vietnam and Indonesia.

According to KMC Research, the proliferation of Japanese investment is not without precedent. Many of its manufacturing firms have chosen to locate its operation in the Philippines almost at the same time the country broke ground to more industrial zones. This also shaped up together with the government’s own recovery plan, specifically through the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 and privatization of public utilities.