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Construction industry in Japan - statistics & facts

The construction industry is an important pillar of the Japanese economy that accounted for around 5.7 percent of the national gross domestic product in 2018. The industry has experienced an overall upward trend in recent years, with the total value of construction investments reaching almost 61 trillion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2018. The private sector accounted for the largest share of annual construction orders and construction investments.

A group of five major general contractors dominates the Japanese construction sector. Obayashi Corporation, Tasei Corporation, Kajima Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, and Taneka Corporation cover a variety of business segments allowing them to carry out projects from design to construction. The value of overseas construction contracts signed by Japanese construction companies reached a record high in 2019. Asia was the leading region of overseas construction orders for Japanese companies, followed by North America.

Upwards trend in the construction industry

Over the last decade, the Japanese construction sector has recovered from a period of negative growth that had continued since the burst of the economic bubble in the 1990s. Reconstruction work following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 partly contributed to the recovery. In more recent years, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have created high demand in the construction industry. Major construction projects planned in preparation for the World Expo 2025 in Osaka and the construction of the Chuo Shinkansen maglev line are likely to have a similar impact. Moreover, infrastructure maintenance and urban redevelopment were expected to play an increasing role in the construction sector in the future. The construction industry is also of great importance for disaster reconstruction and disaster prevention in the country, as Japan is prone to natural disasters such as floods and typhoons. In recent years, floods have caused increasing damage and the yearly budget for disaster reconstruction has regularly exceeded two trillion Japanese yen.

ICT as a solution against labor shortages?

The Japanese construction sector is affected by a labor shortage that is likely to become more severe in the future. Next to easing immigration restrictions for migrant workers, the Japanese government has started to promote the use of technology in the construction sector. In 2015, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism introduced the i-construction initiative. To improve productivity in the construction sector and compensate for labor shortages, the government encouraged the increased use of ICT, such as IoT, BIM (Building Information Modeling), and CIM (Civil Information Modeling) software at construction sites.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Construction industry in Japan" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Building construction

Civil engineering

Productivity and safety in the construction sector

Interesting statistics

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Construction industry in Japan

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Construction industry in Japan - statistics & facts

The construction industry is an important pillar of the Japanese economy that accounted for around 5.7 percent of the national gross domestic product in 2018. The industry has experienced an overall upward trend in recent years, with the total value of construction investments reaching almost 61 trillion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2018. The private sector accounted for the largest share of annual construction orders and construction investments.

A group of five major general contractors dominates the Japanese construction sector. Obayashi Corporation, Tasei Corporation, Kajima Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, and Taneka Corporation cover a variety of business segments allowing them to carry out projects from design to construction. The value of overseas construction contracts signed by Japanese construction companies reached a record high in 2019. Asia was the leading region of overseas construction orders for Japanese companies, followed by North America.

Upwards trend in the construction industry

Over the last decade, the Japanese construction sector has recovered from a period of negative growth that had continued since the burst of the economic bubble in the 1990s. Reconstruction work following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 partly contributed to the recovery. In more recent years, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have created high demand in the construction industry. Major construction projects planned in preparation for the World Expo 2025 in Osaka and the construction of the Chuo Shinkansen maglev line are likely to have a similar impact. Moreover, infrastructure maintenance and urban redevelopment were expected to play an increasing role in the construction sector in the future. The construction industry is also of great importance for disaster reconstruction and disaster prevention in the country, as Japan is prone to natural disasters such as floods and typhoons. In recent years, floods have caused increasing damage and the yearly budget for disaster reconstruction has regularly exceeded two trillion Japanese yen.

ICT as a solution against labor shortages?

The Japanese construction sector is affected by a labor shortage that is likely to become more severe in the future. Next to easing immigration restrictions for migrant workers, the Japanese government has started to promote the use of technology in the construction sector. In 2015, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism introduced the i-construction initiative. To improve productivity in the construction sector and compensate for labor shortages, the government encouraged the increased use of ICT, such as IoT, BIM (Building Information Modeling), and CIM (Civil Information Modeling) software at construction sites.

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