Toyo Keizai has not, as far as we are aware, issued another ranking of the biggest foreign companies in Japan since the one we blogged about in 2018. So for an update, we are relying on the analysis of a Japanese blogger working for a publisher in Tokyo, going by the name of Naganasu (long aubergine, ahem), who has done the number crunching from the Toyo Keizai directory for 2020.
Naganasu has not included minority foreign owned companies such as Nissan, who were top of the rankings last time. This means Accenture (headquartered in Ireland) has shot to the top, with a 70% increase in employee numbers from 7,600 in 2018 to 13,000 in 2020. Gibraltar Life Insurance, a Japan only brand, formerly known as Kyoei, acquired by US company Prudential Holdings in 2001 is still at #2 with 12,731 employees. Naganasu has also not included Sharp, 65% owned by Taiwanese Hon Hai, which was at #3 before.
The largest European-owned Japanese company is Bosch, at #6 with 5,333 employees. VSN (a staffing company acquired by Swiss company Adecco in 2012) has risen to #10 from #31 with 4, 271 employees, a third larger than in 2018. IKEA has also grown in Japan, from 2,700 employees at #36 to #16.
As in 2018, there is a lack of British owned companies in the top 50. The only one included by Naganasu is AstraZeneca at #19 with 3,000 employees. What happened to GSK, which was at #28 with 3,300 employees in 2018 is not clear. Perhaps they have shrunk to below 2,000 employees, so were not in the top 50. Alternatively, as we’ve often noticed with Toyo Keizai, if you don’t respond to their questionnaires, you don’t get included.
Other European companies in the 2020 top 50 are Adecco, L’Oreal, Bayer, Nestle, Philips, Valeo (French automotive supplier), Triumph (Swiss underwear company) and Autoliv (Swedish automotive company).
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