Japan and British Columbia have a long and significant history of cultural and economic links. B.C.’s main exports to Japan consist of raw materials and agrifood products including lumber, pulp, copper ores, aluminum, coal and seafood.

Today, Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and B.C.’s third-largest export destination. A leading importer of energy resources and a steady customer of wood products, Japan is  a world-leading market for clean technologies, digital media and international education. B.C. businesses have excellent opportunities with Japan in these areas as well as mining, natural gas and information and communications technology.

Key Sectors Opportunities for Exporters


British Columbia is a long-time supplier of wood products, including pulp and lumber, to Japan. With Canada acting as Japan’s largest supplier, demand for B.C. wood pellets continues to rise. Along with government policies mandating greater use of wood in construction, Japan is a growing choice for the export of value-added wood products.

Learn more about export opportunities for our forestry sector.


Japan is almost entirely reliant on imports for its mineral needs and expects to increase demand for metallurgic coal, copper and aluminum. B.C. can meet many of these needs and prospects for continued growth remain strong. British Columbia exported over $1.1 billion in mineral products to Japan in 2017.

Learn more about export opportunities for our mining sector.

Natural Gas

Japan is one of the original pioneers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is the world’s largest consumer of LNG by import volume and capacity. With a major reduction of nuclear power usage and expansion of LNG terminal facilities in the coming years, British Columbia’s 576 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas reserves are well-positioned to supply Japan’s growing energy demands.

Learn more about export opportunities for our LNG sector.

International Education

Japan’s recent commitment to internationalize its education system has resulted in a goal to double its number of students studying abroad to 120,000 by 2020. B.C. is a top destination with over 6,555 Japanese students in 2016. There is also an opportunity to increase the number of British Columbia-accredited schools operating in Japan.

Learn more about export opportunities for our international education sector.


Japan is a technology leader with a particular need for renewable energy and clean technologies in addition to interests in information and communications technology and digital media, especially gaming technologies. Business opportunities exist in a wide range of technology sub-sectors from artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing to augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) and fintech solutions. Japan’s smart city designations and government policies advancing a hydrogen-based economy open up opportunities in clean transportation technologies, hydrogen fuel cells and smart grids Learn more about export opportunities for our technology sector.


British Columbia has a strong reputation in Japan for high-quality and safely regulated food products. A dietary shift towards Western tastes and an affluent consumer base provide a strong opportunity for producers to expand into the country’s food service industry. Particular openings exist for B.C. wine, seafood, blueberries, greenhouse vegetables and processed food. In 2017, B.C. exported $203 million in both agrifood and seafood.

Learn more about export opportunities for our agrifoods sector.


There are strong opportunities for British Columbia companies to sell transportation-related solutions, services and products to Japan. These include aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), intelligent transport systems as well as earth observation, security and ocean technologies.

Learn more about export opportunities for our transportation sector.


Trade Agreements

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a  trade agreement between 11 countries, including Canada and Japan.  It comes into force on December 30, 2018. The CPTPP is expected to provide enhanced market access between Canada and Japan.

Read about the opportunities for BC businesses, investors, and workers in domestic and international trade agreements:

Opportunities in Trade Agreements.