Woodrise: Overview of wood construction in Japan

Woodrise: Overview of wood construction in Japan

Japan has a strong tradition of wood construction and relies heavily on imports to satisfy domestic demand.

In 2020, gross domestic product growth collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Japan is expected to recover its GDP per capita by 2021 (compared to 2022 for France).

The construction sector is also particularly affected by the crisis, although the organisation of the 2020 Olympic Games has softened the blow.

More than 10% of the world’s earthquakes occur in Japan and the surrounding regions, making seismic issues, as well as fire safety in construction, central.

In addition, Japan is facing a structural challenge with an ageing and shrinking population, creating an imbalance between housing supply and demand.

Post and beam and timber frame construction systems dominate the low-rise market, while medium and tall buildings are generally built in concrete. These characteristics of the Japanese timber construction market create opportunities in several market segments, especially in timber interior design and renovation of existing stock.

The objective of this study is to provide a detailed view of the Japanese wood construction sector, but also of the consumption of wood products for the sector. Thus, a good understanding of the market dynamics will provide the French forestry and wood industry with a vision of the extent of the opportunities in the Japanese market. The opportunities identified are detailed in this note, which is a summary of the final report commissioned by ADEME.