How to invest in Japan using ETFs

How do I invest in Japanese stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole Japanese stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the Japanese stock market you'll find 6 indices which are tracked by ETFs. Besides these indices 4 alternative indices on small and mid caps or equity strategies can be considered.

A speciality for ETFs on Japan is the large number of currency hedged ETFs that are available. In total there are 13 currency hedged indices tracked by 22 ETFs.

0.09% p.a. - 0.59% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of Japan ETFs
on the Japanese stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the Japanese stock market
The best indices for Japan ETFs

Performance of Japanese stocks (MSCI Japan)

1 month: 0.43%
1 year: 32.06%
3 years: 17.70%
5 years: 51.92%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on Japan

For an investment in the Japanese stock market, there are 6 indices available which are tracked by 20 ETFs. On the FTSE Japan index there is 1 ETF. On the JPX-Nikkei 400 index there are 2 ETFs. On the MSCI Japan index there are 8 ETFs. On the MSCI Japan IMI index there are 2 ETFs. On the Nikkei 225® index there are 3 ETFs. On the TOPIX® index there are 4 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.09% p.a. and 0.59% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

FTSE Japan

Japan 1 ETF 507
(31/03/2021)
The FTSE Japan index tracks Japanese large and mid cap stocks.
Index factsheet

JPX-Nikkei 400

Japan 2 ETFs 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan

Japan 8 ETFs 301
(31/03/2021)
The MSCI Japan index tracks leading Japanese stocks.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan IMI

Japan 2 ETFs 1,275
(31/03/2021)
The MSCI Japan IMI index tracks stocks from Japan. It covers securities across large, mid and small cap size segments.
Index factsheet

Nikkei 225®

Japan 3 ETFs 225
The Nikkei 225® index tracks the 225 most actively traded stocks on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Index factsheet

TOPIX®

Japan 4 ETFs 2,174
(30/09/2020)
The TOPIX® index tracks a broad selection of Japanese stocks listed on the TSE First Section segment of Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core MSCI Japan IMI UCITS ETFIE00B4L5YX21 4,129 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan UCITS ETF 1CLU0274209740 2,489 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B95PGT31 2,136 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF 1DLU0839027447 2,046 0.09% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B02KXH56 1,210 0.59% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-accLU0950671825 1,030 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Japan (TOPIX) (DR) UCITS ETF - Dist EURFR0010245514 940 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-disLU0136240974 764 0.19% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B53QDK08 423 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52MJD48 302 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF EURLU1681037609 262 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00B5VX7566 213 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF JPYLU1681037781 211 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Core MSCI Japan IMI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BFM15T99 205 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Nikkei 225 UCITS ETFLU0378453376 93 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Japan (TOPIX) (DR) UCITS ETF - Dist JPYFR0010377028 79 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681038912 71 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF JPYLU1681039050 70 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Core MSCI Japan (DR) UCITS ETF - DistLU2090063673 28 0.12% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-UKdisLU1107559616 16 0.19% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® 5.86% 8.52% 18.17% 34.55% 12.65%
JPX-Nikkei 400 5.52% 8.23% 18.61% 35.72% 16.75%
MSCI Japan IMI 5.73% 8.77% 18.88% 36.19% 17.00%
MSCI Japan 5.26% 8.90% 19.67% 36.23% 18.60%
FTSE Japan 5.78% 9.36% 19.68% 36.70% 18.06%
Nikkei 225® 1.21% 6.22% 23.68% 49.57% 37.34%
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
Nikkei 225® 6.22% 13.81% 20.22% -8.43% 20.46%
JPX-Nikkei 400 7.89% 4.01% 17.10% -12.92% 18.86%
MSCI Japan 8.27% 4.05% 18.34% -13.44% 18.63%
TOPIX® 8.52% 2.03% 17.15% -14.02% 20.16%
FTSE Japan 8.70% 3.92% 16.67% -12.68% 19.44%
MSCI Japan IMI 8.77% 3.66% 17.00% -12.84% 19.82%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/03/2021; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The cheapest Japan ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

Show all

Japan ETFs with hedged currency risk

Currency hedged investing in Japanese stocks is popular. In total, you can consider 13 currency hedged Japan indices tracked by 22 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Japan indices with currency hedge is between 0.18% p.a. and 0.64% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 Daily (CHF Hedged) index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Daily Currency hedged to Swiss Francs (CHF).
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 Daily (EUR Hedged) index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Daily Currency hedged to Euro (EUR).
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Currency hedged to British Pound (GBP).
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 Daily (USD Hedged) index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Currency hedged to US dollar.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) Japan 3 ETFs 320
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to Swiss Francs (CHF).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs
The MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to Euro (EUR).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) Japan 3 ETFs 320
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to British Pounds (GBP).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 320
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to Singapore Dollar (SGD).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) Japan 3 ETFs 320
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to US Dollar (USD).
Index factsheet
TOPIX® (CHF Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 2,174
(30/09/2020)
The TOPIX® (CHF Hedged) index tracks Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations. Currency hedged to Swiss Francs (CHF).
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 2,174
(30/09/2020)
The TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) index tracks Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations. Currency hedged to Euro (EUR).
TOPIX® (GBP Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 2,174
(30/09/2020)
The TOPIX® (GBP Hedged) index tracks Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations. Currency hedged to British Pound (GBP).
TOPIX® (USD Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 2,174
(30/09/2020)
The TOPIX® (USD Hedged) index tracks Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations. Currency hedged to US-Dollar (USD).
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Japan EUR Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B42Z5J44 1,081 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681037864 683 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Japan USD Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00BCLWRG39 328 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan CHF Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B8J37J31 230 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Japan (TOPIX) (DR) UCITS ETF - Daily Hedged to EUR - DistFR0011475078 228 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
Lyxor Core MSCI Japan (DR) UCITS ETF - Daily Hedged to GBP - AccLU1781541682 144 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681039134 102 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to CHF) A-accLU1169821888 92 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers MSCI Japan UCITS ETF 2D USD hedgedLU0927735406 65 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged USDLU1681039217 43 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Japan UCITS ETF 7C CHF hedgedLU1215827756 38 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to EUR) A-disLU1169822001 30 0.29% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to USD) A-accLU1169822779 26 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-disLU1169822340 12 0.29% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor JPX-Nikkei 400 (DR) UCITS ETF - Daily Hedged to CHF - AccLU1646360039 9 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-accLU1169822423 8 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged CHFLU1681047665 6 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged USDLU1681037948 6 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged CHFLU1681038169 5 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged GBPLU1681038086 3 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged GBPLU1681039308 2 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to SGD) A-accLU1169822936 0 0.29% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® (USD Hedged) 9.94% 16.95% 23.83% 37.71% 22.58%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 9.49% 16.48% 24.39% 39.04% 26.12%
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 9.09% 15.80% 25.27% 39.46% 27.40%
TOPIX® (CHF Hedged) 5.65% 8.89% 20.45% 39.94% 15.97%
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 4.70% 8.34% 21.68% 40.98% 19.59%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 5.17% 8.45% 20.93% 41.07% 18.06%
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 6.36% 11.60% 23.37% 46.54% 9.43%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 5.52% 10.31% 24.62% 47.56% 12.84%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 5.91% 11.15% 23.90% 47.90% 12.57%
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 7.85% 14.24% 27.63% 48.01% 22.41%
TOPIX® (GBP Hedged) 8.65% 17.98% 32.53% 53.56% 15.93%
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) 7.88% 17.10% 33.81% 54.26% -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) 8.19% 17.50% 33.06% 54.97% 19.20%
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 8.34% 7.08% 16.74% -17.09% 17.98%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 8.45% 6.86% 16.97% -17.39% 18.57%
TOPIX® (CHF Hedged) 8.89% 5.37% 16.03% -17.95% 19.72%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 10.48% 7.44% 12.48% -19.80% 29.15%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 10.51% 6.59% 13.13% -20.34% 29.63%
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 11.00% 4.91% 12.03% -20.86% 30.96%
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 14.24% 0.55% 20.07% -16.20% 24.76%
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 15.80% 0.79% 17.04% -13.40% 15.58%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 16.48% -1.73% 18.90% -13.94% 16.00%
TOPIX® (USD Hedged) 16.95% -3.28% 17.70% -14.48% 17.20%
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) 17.10% 2.67% 19.63% - -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) 17.50% 2.08% 19.93% -20.13% 25.79%
TOPIX® (GBP Hedged) 17.98% 0.54% 18.76% -20.66% 27.07%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/03/2021; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 
Alternative investment opportunities

Japanese indices on small and mid caps or equity strategies

Alternatively, you may invest in indices on small and mid caps or equity strategies. In total, you can invest in 4 alternative indices on Japan tracked by 6 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these alternative indices is between 0.15% p.a. and 0.58% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI Japan ESG Screened Japan
Social/Environmental
2 ETFs 308
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan ESG Screened index tracks Japanese companies. The index excludes companies that are involved in businesses related to thermal coal, controversial weapons, tobacco and other controversial industries.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan Low Carbon SRI Leaders Japan
Social/Environmental
1 ETF 118
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan Low Carbon SRI Leaders index tracks large- and mid-cap securities from Japan. Only companies with low carbon emissions and a high ESG (environmental, social and governance) rating are considered. The parent index is the MSCI Japan.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuels Japan
Social/Environmental
2 ETFs 64
(30/10/2020)
The MSCI Japan SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuels index tracks Japanese stocks considering only companies with very high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings relative to their sector peers, to ensure the inclusion of the best of class companies from an ESG perspective and avoiding companies incompatible with values screen or having exposure to fossil fuels through extraction and production activities, power generation activities or reserves ownership. The weight of each company is capped to 5%.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan Small Cap Japan
Small Cap
1 ETF 974
(31/03/2021)
The MSCI Japan Small Cap index tracks Japanese small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
Xtrackers MSCI Japan ESG UCITS ETF 1CIE00BG36TC12 1,804 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BYX8XC17 613 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan ESG Screened UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00BFNM3L97 415 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B2QWDY88 294 0.58% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan ESG Screened UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BFNM3M05 53 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BGDQ0V72 50 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Japan SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuels 6.02% 7.18% 20.53% 31.36% 22.68%
MSCI Japan Low Carbon SRI Leaders 4.53% 6.22% 16.60% 34.01% -
MSCI Japan Small Cap 7.98% 9.87% 14.18% 34.46% 6.70%
MSCI Japan ESG Screened 5.34% 7.83% 19.84% 37.35% -
Index   2021
in %
2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
MSCI Japan Low Carbon SRI Leaders 5.63% 8.45% 22.68% - -
MSCI Japan SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuels 7.34% 6.13% 21.29% -12.78% -
MSCI Japan ESG Screened 8.03% 5.78% 18.49% - -
MSCI Japan Small Cap 10.01% -2.14% 16.47% -15.57% 25.30%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/03/2021; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.