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 find 6 indices, which are tracked by ETFs. Besides these indices 2 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 27 ETFs.

Alternatively, you can consider indices on the Pacific region. In the Pacific indices, Japan is strongly weighted with around 65%.

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: -5.05%
1 year: -7.05%
3 years: 12.21%
5 years: 28.58%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on Japan

For an investment in the Japanese stock market, 6 indices tracked by 19 ETFs are available. 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 Investable Market (IMI) index there is 1 ETF. 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 513
(31/03/19)
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 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan (total return) index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan Investable Market (IMI)

Japan 1 ETF 1,298
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan Investable Market (IMI) index tracks large, mid, and small capitalisation companies in Japan.
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 2,008
(31/03/18)
The TOPIX® (total return) index tracks over 2,000 Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations.
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 3,523 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0274209740 1,756 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETFIE00B95PGT31 1,706 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF MSCI Japan UCITS ETFLU0950671825 1,618 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B02KXH56 1,375 0.59% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-disLU0136240974 1,143 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF 1DLU0839027447 1,053 0.09% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF D-EURFR0010245514 688 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B53QDK08 403 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF - EURLU1681037609 241 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52MJD48 221 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00B5VX7566 162 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF - EUR (C)LU1681038912 150 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF D-JPYFR0010377028 102 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF - JPYLU1681039050 92 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF - JPYLU1681037781 80 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
ComStage Nikkei 225 UCITS ETFLU0378453376 56 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-UKdisLU1107559616 24 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
ComStage MSCI Japan TRN UCITS ETFLU0392495452 11 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® 1.78% -3.50% 0.66% -6.46% 19.59%
JPX-Nikkei 400 1.61% -3.45% 0.81% -5.61% 19.20%
FTSE Japan 1.57% -3.58% 0.79% -5.27% 19.97%
MSCI Japan Investable Market (IMI) 1.78% -3.21% 1.37% -4.98% 20.16%
MSCI Japan 1.58% -3.19% 1.25% -4.46% 19.51%
Nikkei 225® 1.92% -3.49% 4.40% 0.02% 31.94%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
JPX-Nikkei 400 7.86% -12.92% 18.86% 4.41% 10.82%
FTSE Japan 7.87% -12.68% 19.44% 4.71% 11.14%
MSCI Japan Investable Market (IMI) 8.42% -12.84% 19.82% 5.55% 10.89%
TOPIX® 8.47% -14.26% 20.16% 5.88% 10.34%
MSCI Japan 9.50% -13.44% 18.63% 5.06% 8.46%
Nikkei 225® 11.46% -8.43% 20.46% 8.23% 9.85%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/07/19; 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 27 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 CHF.
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) Japan 3 ETFs 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 EUR Hedged index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Currency hedged to Euro.
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 Daily GBP Hedged index tracks 400 Japanese stocks. The stocks are mainly selected by return on equity and cumulative operating profit. Daily currency hedged to GBP.
Index factsheet
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 400
The JPX-Nikkei 400 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 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan (total return) index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. 100% currency hedged to Swiss Francs (CHF).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) Japan 3 ETFs 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. 100% currency hedged to Euro.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan (total return) index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. 100% currency hedged to British Pound (GBP).
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan (total return) index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. 100% currency hedged to SGD.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) Japan 4 ETFs 322
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan index tracks around 320 leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged on monthly basis to US dollar.
Index factsheet
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 225
The Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) index tracks the 225 most actively traded stocks on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Currency hedged to Euro.
Index factsheet
Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) Japan 1 ETF 225
The Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) index tracks the 225 most actively traded stocks on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Currency hedged to USD.
Index factsheet
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 2,008
(31/08/18)
The TOPIX® EUR Daily Hedged (total return) index tracks over 1,900 Japanese stocks on the TSE First Section segment of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which comprises the largest market capitalisations. Currency hedged to Euro.
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 383
(29/05/15)
The WisdomTree Japan USD-Hedged Equity index tracks Japanese stocks. The Index is a fundamentally weighted index. Currency hedged to USD.
Index factsheet
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 1,272 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged - EUR (C)LU1681037864 579 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Japan USD Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00BCLWRG39 284 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF Daily Hedged D-EURFR0011475078 256 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan CHF Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B8J37J31 254 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
WisdomTree Japan Equity UCITS ETF USD HedgedIE00BVXC4854 164 0.48% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 2D (USD hedged)LU0927735406 105 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged EUR UCITS ETF (EUR) A-accLU0950672476 95 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged CHF UCITS ETF (CHF) A-accLU0950672120 77 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged - EUR (C)LU1681039134 73 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged USDLU1681039217 61 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Nomura JPX-Nikkei 400 NTR D EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BVVSZ262 51 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged to USD UCITS ETF (USD) A-accLU0977260867 49 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged EUR UCITS ETF (EUR) A-disLU0937837945 48 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares JPX-Nikkei 400 EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BQT3W831 42 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Nomura Nikkei 225 EUR-Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BSKS1J57 42 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-disLU1169822340 40 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 7C (CHF hedged)LU1215827756 37 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Nomura Nikkei 225 USD-Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BSMSXM06 27 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-accLU1169822423 14 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Nomura JPX-Nikkei 400 NTR D USD Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BVVSZ379 12 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
WisdomTree Japan Equity UCITS ETFIE00BYQCZD50 11 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor JPX-Nikkei 400 (DR) CHF Daily Hedged UCITS ETFLU1646360039 7 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged to USD UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0979891768 3 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged CHFLU1681047665 3 0.18% 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 1 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) -1.99% -11.93% -6.40% -15.08% 15.19%
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) -1.74% -11.56% -6.30% -14.72% -
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 0.21% -6.82% -2.76% -14.55% 22.18%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 0.08% -6.68% -2.55% -13.75% 22.20%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 0.28% -6.50% -2.49% -13.26% 22.87%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 0.59% -3.47% 0.34% -9.84% -
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 2.22% -6.98% -1.09% -9.74% 29.44%
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 0.79% -3.18% 0.69% -9.17% 18.92%
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 0.53% -7.28% 0.51% -9.04% 33.13%
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 1.39% -5.93% 0.08% -6.93% -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 2.41% -5.34% 1.91% -6.21% 30.57%
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 2.57% -5.46% 1.95% -5.75% 31.36%
Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) 2.82% -5.88% 5.08% -1.21% 42.15%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) 1.77% -20.13% 25.79% -17.37% -
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) 3.15% -20.51% - - -
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 3.19% -20.86% 30.96% -3.12% 0.08%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 3.64% -20.34% 29.63% -3.38% -
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 3.82% -19.80% 29.15% -4.03% -1.75%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 5.48% -17.39% - - -
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 5.71% -15.64% 30.37% -1.59% -
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 5.92% -17.09% 17.98% -3.63% 7.80%
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 6.45% -17.98% 17.06% 3.13% -
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 8.22% -16.20% 24.76% - -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 8.38% -13.94% 16.00% 0.13% -
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 8.47% -13.40% 15.58% 0.35% 9.49%
Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) 10.27% -8.84% 16.70% 3.34% -

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/07/19; 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 2 alternative indices on Japan tracked by 3 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these alternative indices is between 0.30% p.a. and 0.58% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI Japan SRI Japan
Social/Environmental
2 ETFs 66
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan SRI 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.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan Small Cap Japan
Small Cap
1 ETF 976
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Japan Small Cap (total return) index tracks Japanese small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B2QWDY88 478 0.58% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETFIE00BYX8XC17 89 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BGDQ0V72 10 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Japan Small Cap 2.72% -3.41% 1.47% -7.97% 19.27%
MSCI Japan SRI 2.08% -1.81% 1.12% -5.09% -
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Japan Small Cap 8.00% -15.57% 25.30% 9.67% 15.41%
MSCI Japan SRI 8.63% -12.78% - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/07/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Pacific indices with a large share of Japan

Besides, Japan ETFs you can consider ETFs on the Pacific stock market. On the Pacific region 13 indices tracked by 27 ETFs are available. The MSCI Pacific index contains a significant weight of Japan with around 65%. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on the Pacific region is around 0.45% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
MSCI Pacific Asia Pacific
Japan: 65.46%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 470
(31/03/19)
The MSCI Pacific index tracks the equity markets of the developed markets in the Pacific region.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
ComStage MSCI Pacific TRN UCITS ETFLU0392495023 216 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Pacific 1.27% -2.17% 3.79% -1.44% 22.69%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Pacific 12.50% -12.60% 18.74% 6.87% 2.52%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/07/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.