1988 volume 20(5) pages 633 – 653
doi:10.1068/a200633

Cite as:
Dicken P, 1988, "The changing geography of Japanese foreign direct investment in manufacturing industry: a global perspective" Environment and Planning A 20(5) 633 – 653

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The changing geography of Japanese foreign direct investment in manufacturing industry: a global perspective

P Dicken

Received 16 July 1987

Abstract. The aim in this paper is to set Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe (including the United Kingdom) into its broader global perspective. The geographical form of Japanese FDI is the outcome of a complex interaction between economic and political forces both internal to Japan itself and also in its external trading environment. The dominant foci of Japanese FDI are North America, and East and South East Asia. Initially, Japanese manufacturing investment was heavily concentrated in neighbouring countries of Asia but the emphasis has shifted more recently to North America. However, the organisational structure of Japanese investment tends to be substantially different in these two world regions. In East and South East Asia, in particular, a complex intrafirm division of labour has developed, whereas in North America (and in Europe) the Japanese plants tend to be directly market-oriented and established primarily in response to trading frictions. The recent massive revaluation of the yen promises to generate further substantial changes in the global geography of Japanese FDI.

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