Japanese firms are optimistic about the United States. According to a survey of companies by JETRO, more than 50% of Japanese manufacturers with U.S. operations plan to expand their business in the next 1-2 years. The responses demonstrate a “trend toward strengthening local production for local consumption in [the] U.S.” that economic developers would do well to recognize.

In addition, 77.5% of the companies forecast an operating profit. This is the fifth consecutive year in which it was over 70%.

Since the 1990s, Japanese investment in the U.S. economy has steadily increased, resulting in Japan ranking 2nd (after the U.K.) in U.S. FDI stock, having increased by 75% in 2015 when compared to 2008. Japanese firms have a total of $414 billion in FDI stock.

This trend is more just numbers. Japan has invested into 677 greenfield FDI projects in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016—an average of 74 projects per year. These projects include assembly plants in Indiana by Honda, Toyota, and Subaru and others in Tennessee and Kentucky.

You can read more of the release discussing the survey HERE.