Japan Market Entry

Apex has supported global brands and startups with market entry to Japan for over 10 years. Our team will guide you through the complexities of making your first key hire, formally establishing your business, and arranging all necessary functions essential to operating successfully in Japan.


Japan's Trusted Market Entry Partner

The world’s third largest economy is rife with opportunity for businesses looking to enter the Japan market. However, attempting to navigate Japanese government regulations, cultural customs, and language barriers can abruptly halt those aspirations if not equipped with the right personnel for the job.

Partnering with Apex ensures these challenges and deterrents will be alleviated. We will guide you through making your first key hire, formally establishing your business, and arranging all necessary functions essential to operating successfully in Japan. Supporting these market entry functions requires a deep understanding of Japanese culture and business practices. The team at Apex is strategically qualified to do so, with a majority staff of native Japanese, bilingual speakers.

As Japan’s trusted executive search and market entry partner, we promise to extend the same level of world-class support to our partners across the globe throughout the entire market entry process.


What are the Hiring Challenges for Foreign Businesses Expanding to the Japan Market?

Labor Shortage

The Japanese labor force is shrinking due to an aging population and low birth rate. This has fueled a Candidate-driven market with multinational and domestic companies vying for the same top talent.

Lifetime Employment

The lifetime employment system is still common in Japan. On average, Japanese employees work for 2.2 companies over the course of their career.


Many Japanese employees lack experience interviewing due to lifetime employment. The inability to articulate skills and accomplishments can come across as unqualified and unprepared.

English Communication

Business English communication ability is lower than most other developed nations. TOEIC test takers ranked 40 out of 48 countries.


How Can Apex Help Foreign Businesses With Hiring in Japan?

Candidate Network

Apex has spent over 10 years developing relationships with tens of thousands of Japan's most talented Candidates, many of which are experienced in leading market entry efforts for foreign multinational businesses and startups.

Professional Headhunters

Apex Consultants are experts in headhunting passive Candidates. Over 200 Director to C-level Candidates have been placed at key roles since 2010.

Interview Preparation

Apex prepares Candidates for each step of the interview process by going over both general interview preparation and specific advice relative to the Client, local market, and products or services.

Globally-Minded Bilingual Candidates

Apex specializes in the recruitment of bilingual professionals for the Japan market. Approximately 8 out of 10 met Candidates meet or exceed business-level English standards.


Market Entry Search Process & Timeline

Kickoff Meeting

Kickoff meeting with HR and/or hiring manager. Discuss position specs, updated stakeholder expectations, business plans and all timelines.

Market Mapping

Research & market mapping. Apex creates a target long list of companies and Candidates. This becomes our working list with the Client.

Consensus Meeting

Consensus meeting with Client on priority targets, deduction to short list. Additional market insights discussed and assigned at client request.

Candidate Assessment

Apex finalizes Candidate assessment on qualifications, and prepares assessment and CVs to be sent to client.

Interview Process

All necessary rounds of interviews will be held. Client to provide initial feedback within 48 hours of interview unless otherwise agreed upon.

Offer & Reference Check

Offer and reference check. Apex to manage the process.

Ongoing Assistance

Offer accepted. Ongoing assistance to Client and Candidate to ensure success moving forward.

Get Started Today

Discuss your market entry needs with Apex