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Value of exported pharmaceutical drugs from Japan 2009-2018

In 2018, the value of Japanese pharmaceutical drug exports amounted to approximately 189 billion Japanese yen; around a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The value began to recover after a period of deterioration and reached its peak in the last ten years in 2018.

Export partner countries

When it comes to the trade of pharmaceutical drugs, the United states of America has continued to be the largest partner country for Japan with the highest share of the total value. In 2018, Japan received around 23.5 percent of the total pharmaceutical drug imports from the US and shipped around 22 percent of the total drug exports to the US in return. In terms of a broader geographical area, however, Asia was the region in which most of the pharmaceutical exports from Japan were delivered to. South Korea and China particularly have been long time trading partners of Japan. The growth in the exports value to Asia was prominent in the decade from 2009 to 2018, and the total value exceeded 110 billion yen in 2018, almost doubled in comparison to that in 2009.

Mainly exported agents

When classifying agents into therapeutic categories, other antineoplastic agents accounted for roughly 19 percent of the total value of drug exports from Japan in 2018. Other antineoplastic agents refer to agents which do not belong to the classification of alkylating agents, antimetabolite, antitumor antibiotics and preparations, and antineoplastic preparations extracted from plants. That year, those antineoplastic agents were mostly exported to South Korea. Agents for biochemical tests made up the second largest share of close to 16 percent. The US was the country predominantly received the exports of those agents from Japan in 2018.

Value of pharmaceutical drug exports from Japan 2009 to 2018

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

2009 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Figures prior to 2014 come from the previous reporting. Figures have been rounded.
1 Japanese yen equals 0.0093 U.S. dollars or 0.0084 euros as of March 2020.

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Statistics on "Pharmaceutical industry in Japan "

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