Artificial Intelligence in Japan

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is involved in our daily life in activities such as navigating or setting your alarm clock automatically on workdays. Artificial intelligence is one of the leading fields when it comes to development in technology globally. AI can be defined as technology that utilizes machine intelligence and human-thinking ability to process various data to make predictions, recommendations, and decisions. It is a group of several technologies, algorithms, and approaches. Since 2016, AI has brought a major shift in the perception of this technology that will become more accepted by people.

AI is growing at an exponential rate all around the globe, especially in Japan. Japan has been a secured a prominent position in the high-tech sector with AI as one of its crucial components. Japan wants to design the society of the future, by developing a long-term strategy that is linked with the new opportunities that high-tech developments provide. AI is a key technology that enables the analysis of huge amounts of data and translating it smoothly back to human users.

Japan’s Artificial intelligence Sector

For the longest time, AI in Japan has focused mainly on robotics as sub-domains of artificial intelligence, building AI especially in the areas of technology in the field of medicine and industries. 

According to the Nomura Research Institute, Artificial Intelligence in Japan is on its way to see a rapid surge, and by the year 2035, half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by AI robots. However, while the AI market in Japan has been focusing on robotics, other companies around the world have focused more on software development, which is an area of opportunity for overseas businesses looking to enter the AI market in Japan.

AI Ecosystem in Japan

It is not just one type of area, which is the major or dominating one in Japan’s AI field but there is a collaboration of areas such as public, private, and research domains, and these all are connected. There are three types of areas: the private sector, public sector, and research facilities. These three groups are interlinked with each other and the separation among these groups is made in very schematic. Therefore, this division between three types of areas is just a simplification of the actual situation. 

Innovative AI companies in Japan

There are more than 300 companies when it comes to the AI market in Japan. These including large competitive enterprises, small to mid-sized companies, and start-ups. Some of the major enterprises are:


Situated in Tokyo, NEC is a leading company in the integration of IT and network technologies that have been active in AI research since the 1980s. NEC provides sensors, computing, networking, and analysis that bring technological solutions to benefit society. Their active data solutions can predict, monitor, and solve challenges, responding intelligently to adverse events. 


This enterprise in Japan is a start-up that works with AI. It was founded in Tokyo in 2012, and they have supported AI implementation in over 150 companies, across diverse industries such as; manufacturing, infrastructure, logistics, and retail. They concentrate mainly on the areas of machine learning / deep learning, as well as retail store analysis.

Softbank Robotics

Softbank Robotics is the robotics branch of Softbank that develops humanoid robots for consumer and enterprise applications relevant to the fields of education, business, and personal use. Their offices are based in Tokyo, Paris, London, San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hongkong, Singapore, Seoul, and Sydney. Currently, there are over 35,000 SoftBank Robotics robots used in more than 70 countries that offer new applications for retail, tourism, healthcare, finance, education, facilities management, and cleaning. 

Japan has its way of making its society of the future by integrating AI in almost every aspect of living. The reason that it has started to grow at such a rate is that Japan’s domestic accommodating environment for developments in new AI techniques is based on co-creation between the Japanese government, the private sector, and of course their knowledge centres. AI is therefore vital in transforming the information society to the society of the future, also known in Japan as Society 5.0; “A human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space.”