- Toyota is Japan's biggest company by market cap.
- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, or NTT, is the biggest telecommunications company in both Japan and the entire world.
- Recruit Holdings is the company behind popular job search sites, Indeed and Glassdoor.
Japan emerged out of the ashes of World War II, and became an economic powerhouse. The country now hosts the world’s third largest economy, and is home to some of the world’s richest companies, some of which are now household names. These companies make everything from cars to televisions. Indeed, there aren’t many things, especially in the world of high tech and electronics, that aren’t made in the Land of the Rising Sun. Here are the largest Japanese companies by market cap, as of January 1, 2020.
10. Recruit Holdings - $62.23 billion
Recruit Holdings is a human resources company, and has a market cap of $62.23 billion. Have you ever had to look for a job? You may have used websites like Indeed and Glassdoor to help you find work. These are both owned by Recruit Holdings. The company also owns, among other things, The CSI Company, which provides staffing services in the U.S., primarily for clerical and IT purposes, as well as the Staffmark Group, which specializes in providing staffing solutions for light industrial jobs in the U.S.
9. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company - $63.55 billion
As its name implies, the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company deals in pharmaceuticals. It defines itself as a global biopharmaceutical company with a heavy emphasis on research and development. It is a very old company, having been founded all the way back in 1781. Takeda’s research and development focusses in the fields of oncology, gastroenterology, rare diseases, neuroscience, plasma-derived therapies, and vaccines. The firm also makes a wide variety of drugs to treat diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and is now working on plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. Takeda’s market cap is $63.55 billion.
8. KDDI Corporation - $69.17 billion
KDDI describes itself as a telecommunications business, founded in 1984. Its portfolio includes mobile businesses, high tech R&D, networking solutions, and even children’s theme parks. Most of these businesses are based in Japan and provide products and services for the domestic market. However, the company does have subsidiaries and offices abroad, including inside the U.S. KDDI has a total market cap worth of $69.17 billion.
7. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group - $71.9 billion
When you hear the name, Mitsubishi, you probably think of cars or motorcycles. But that’s not what Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group does. You’re thinking of Mitsubishi Motors. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, or MUFG for short, is a holding company that provides financial services, including commercial banking, trust banking, international finance, and asset management services. Speaking of assets, MUFG has $2.8 trillion worth, though its market cap is just $71.9 billion.
6. Keyence Corporation - $85.88 billion
The Keyence Corporation is all about developing, manufacturing, and selling equipment for automated factories, as well as other high tech. The company’s products include different types of sensors, measuring equipment, and even model cars. Two of its newest products are a vision sensor with built-in artificial intelligence and a digital microscope. According to the company website, it has offices in 46 countries, and serves 250,000 customers, located in 110 countries. The Keyence Corporation has a market cap value of $85.88 billion.
5. NTT DoMoCo - $91.41 billion
This company provides mobile phone services to 73 million customers throughout Japan, using its advanced wireless networks. Like many telecommunications companies around the world, NTT DoCoMo is in the process of developing a 5G network that will go online sometime this decade. Although the company’s services are for the domestic Japanese market, it also provides its expertise to other mobile operators and partners outside the country. NTT DoCoMo’s market cap is $91.41 billion.
4. SoftBank Group - $93.51 billion
SoftBank group is a multinational holding and investment company. Its companies are involved mostly in telecommunications, e-commerce, cybersecurity, data management, and financial services. They include Boldly Inc., which provides consultation in regards to autonomous vehicles, Odds Park Corp., which deals with information management for the horse racing industry, the PayPay Corporation, which provides electronic payment solutions, and Generate Inc., which provides digital marketing solutions. SoftBank Group has a market cap of $93.51 billion.
3. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation - $94.78 billion
Introducing Japan’s biggest telecommunications company. Actually, it’s also the biggest telecommunications company in the world. In 1999, the company, often referred to by their initials, NTT, was reorganized as a holding company for regional phone companies, NTT East and NTT West, as well as NTT Communications, which provides long distance service. NTT also owns a majority stake in the aforementioned NTT DoCoMo. This telecommunications giant has a market cap of $94.78 billion.
2. Sony Corporation - $100.03 billion
Do you own a television? If you do, there’s a good chance that it’s a Sony. Do you own a PlayStation? Then it’s definitely a Sony. The Sony Corporation was founded in 1946 and has been making all sorts of electronics ever since. Are you old enough to remember walking around with a Walkman? Then you can thank Sony for that, too. Lately, Sony has entered the motion picture and music industries. Now, millions of video gamers around the world are anxiously awaiting the release of Sony’s latest PlayStation, the PlayStation 5, set to be released by the Holiday season of 2020. But of course, video games are just part of what has helped the Sony Corporation achieve a market cap of $100.03 billion.
1. Toyota Motor Corporation - 203.34 billion
Look at the cars driving on the road. It won’t be long until you spot one that’s a Toyota. The company was first established in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda, whose family was originally involved in the textile industry. Since then, Toyota has gained a reputation for building automobiles that are fuel-efficient, economical, safe, and reliable. Its latest developments include moving towards autonomous cars, and fuel cell technology. It has also branched out beyond making automobiles and is now involved in robotics technology and something the company calls harmonious mobility networking, or Ha:mo, which involves connecting personal transportation modes and public transportation in order to improve mobility for everyone. The company had a market capt of 203.34 billion as of January 1, 2020.