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Japan Report

Analysis of the opportunities and obstacles in the Japanese private equity market

Interest in Japan’s PE landscape has grown rapidly over the past 12 months. Local and international GPs alike are hoping to reap the rewards of Japan’s favourable investment environment, driven by strong fundraising conditions, geopolitical stability and a business culture that is becoming more comfortable with the asset class. In this special report, we look at how Japan’s recent PE progress is indicative of a market reaching maturation, and what the future might hold for GP-led secondaries and private wealth appetites in the country.

Three key trends in Japanese PE

Japan’s private markets brace for greater levels of interest.

Appetite grows for Japan’s maturing PE market

International GPs and LPs increasingly view Japan as one of the hottest growth markets for private equity as it gets lifted by macro tailwinds.



In 2023’s report, we explored how the denominator effect and the depreciation of the yen relative to the US dollar impacted Japanese LPs’ commitments, the confluence of factors helping to drive dealmaking activity in the country, and what demographic trends mean for the private equity industry.

Key trends in Japanese private equity

Despite challenges, signs point to a market that has begun realising its potential.

After many false dawns, PE dealmaking is on the rise in Japan

PEI asks what has unblocked the deal pipeline and explores how firms are getting transactions across the line.

Denominator woes prompt Japanese LPs to get selective

Japanese institutions have found themselves cutting down ticket sizes and declining fund opportunities as currency fluctuations compound private equity’s denominator effect.

JST’s Tomita: GP ‘winners and losers’ will become clear

The private equity head at Japan’s ¥10trn university endowment tells PEI how the fund views private markets in the current environment, and why it’s bullish on secondaries.

Navigating Japan’s demographic dilemma

PE firms are investing in businesses plugging the gaps caused by a declining and ageing population, such as those providing staffing, health and elderly care services.

Mixed picture for Japanese fundraising

Japan-based capital raising picked up last year as country-focused volumes contracted – but the number of vehicles closed for both held steady.

The Japanese private equity market has been heating up, with deal activity surging and more players looking to build out their footprint in the region. In this special report, we examine how growth is intensifying competition for talent and look at rising momentum in the impact investing and GP-led secondaries markets.

Japan PE growth sees impact and secondaries momentum

As Japan’s private equity market grows, impact and secondaries strategies gain momentum, and competition for talent intensifies.

The private equity talent contest

Private equity is becoming a more attractive prospect for young professionals in Japan, but firms need to stand out to attract talent.

Impact investing: Testing the waters

Now that the importance of ESG is well-understood in Japan, the market is beginning to wake up to impact.

Japan’s fund managers slowly warm to GP-led secondaries

GP-led activity is picking up thanks to a decline in exit activity during the pandemic and rising familiarity with the practice.

Q&A: Ropes & Gray’s Tsuyoshi Imai

The growing prevalence of PE in Japan has brought a deluge of deals, but that’s not without its downsides, says Ropes & Gray private equity partner and Tokyo office managing partner Tsuyoshi Imai.

April marks the month when spring bursts into colour in Japan with the spectacular cherry blossoms in parks and riverbanks across the country. In our 2021 Japan Special, we look at why there will still be a spring in the step of the private equity industry after a successful year for both deals and fundraising.

Seven signs Japan is realising its potential

The country's private equity market has been touted for its growth potential for much of the past decade. Has that finally come to pass?

Stars align for Japanese private equity

Local and international firms report brisk activity over the past 12 months. Everything seems to be coming together for the Japanese buyout market.

Japan’s blossoming venture landscape

The country’s venture capital market is maturing as investment volumes rise and sentiment around innovation continues to evolve.

Japan forges its own ESG approach

The country’s limited partners will continue to favour corporate engagement over exclusionary screening of controversial sectors.

Japan’s new code puts LPs’ focus on ESG

The revisions to Japan’s Stewardship Code a year ago are changing the way LPs view ESG, writes Baker McKenzie's Tetsuo Tsujimoto.

While no one can predict the future, the Japanese private equity industry remains optimistic it can ride out the coronavirus crisis. In our Japan Special 2020, we talk to the heads of the leading Tokyo-based GPs to hear why there are grounds for confidence despite the fears of a downturn.

Five trends in Japanese private equity

While no one can predict the future, the Japanese private equity industry remains optimistic it can ride out the coronavirus crisis.

Japan’s changing tastes in private equity

The number of divestitures by public companies has changed little in the past decade, but PE participation is rising.

ESG in Japan: A call for action

As awareness of good ESG spreads through the Japanese private equity industry, GPs need to focus on implementation.

Japan’s regional banks want more bang for their PE buck

The country’s mid-tier lenders are piling into the asset class in a bid to generate additional business opportunities in their respective locales.

Japan private equity: Apollo, Carlyle, KKR share their thoughts

Senior executives at three of the world’s largest private equity players offer their insights on how the Japanese opportunity is developing.

Nissay on how it approaches private equity

As more Japanese insurers turn to private equity in the search for yield, Hikojiro Iida, co-head of PE at Nissay Asset Management, discusses its favoured strategies.

The Japanese market has long held tantalising opportunity for private equity, but it’s only in the past few years that deals have started to come through. In our Japan Special 2019, PEI looks at how a more active investor base and a thriving mid-market have helped Japan become a top priority for pan-Asian and global funds.


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