Japan Letter of Credit Transactions

What are the key points of consideration as an exporter when working with a letter of credit which is issued in Japan or as an importer when issuing a letter of credit for a Japan exporter?

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You should understand Japanese economy, Japanese exports and imports as well as Japanese banks before you proceed to work with a letter of credit which is issued in Japan.

Japan’s Economy and International Trade at a Glance:

  • Gross domestic product of japan is 4.78 trillion US dollars in year 2012. This makes
  • Japanese economy 3rd largest economy in the world after USA and China.
  • Japan is the world’s 4th biggest importer with 794,70 billion US dollars import volume in year 2011 and 4th biggest exporter with 792,90 billion US dollars export volume in year 2012.
  • Japan is one of the most successful countries all around the world that uses export oriented development strategy. japan economy flourished with the help of its export oriented companies after world war II. Japan is now one of the most develop countries.
  • Until recently Japanese economy experiencing trade surpluses. For the last couple of years Japan imports exceed its exports and Japan began to see trade deficit on its international trade balance sheet.
  • Most of the big global companies are originated from USA.
  • Biggest Export Partners of Japan : China (%18.88), USA (%16.42), South Korea (% 8.13), Taiwan (% 6.27), Hong Kong (% 6.27).
  • Biggest Import Partners of Japan : China (% 22.2), USA(% 10.96), Australia (% 6.29), Saudi Arabia (% 5.29), UAE (% 4.12), South Korea (% 3.98), Indonesia (%3.95).

Biggest Banks in Japan and their SWIFT Codes:

Bank NameAssets (Billion USD)Swift Code
Bank Name:
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Assets (Billion USD):
1,999.60
Swift Code:
MTBCJPJTXXX
Bank Name:
Mizuho Financial Group
Assets (Billion USD):
1,538.90
Swift Code:
MHCBJPJTXXX
Bank Name:
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
Assets (Billion USD):
1,202.60
Swift Code:
SMBCJPJTXXX
Bank Name:
Resona Holdings
Assets (Billion USD):
400.47
Swift Code:
DIWAJPJTXXX
Bank Name:
Sumitomo Trust & Banking
Assets (Billion USD):
213.85
Swift Code:
STBCJPJTXXX
Bank Name:
Chuo Mitsui Trust Group
Assets (Billion USD):
150.79
Swift Code:
MTRBJPJTXXX