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 28 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: 1.34%
1 year: 3.16%
3 years: 20.89%
5 years: 44.62%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on Japan

For an investment in the Japanese stock market, 6 indices tracked by 20 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 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 505
(30/09/19)
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 323
(30/09/19)
The MSCI Japan index tracks leading Japanese stocks.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan IMI

Japan 2 ETFs
The MSCI Japan IMI index tracks stocks from Japan. It covers securities across large, mid and small cap size segments.

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 2,151
(30/09/19)
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 4,423 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B95PGT31 1,904 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0274209740 1,887 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-accLU0950671825 1,773 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B02KXH56 1,439 0.59% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF 1DLU0839027447 1,252 0.09% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-disLU0136240974 1,247 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF (DR) D-EURFR0010245514 705 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B53QDK08 427 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF EURLU1681037609 315 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52MJD48 217 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USDIE00B5VX7566 180 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681038912 160 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF (DR) D-JPYFR0010377028 113 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
Amundi ETF Japan Topix UCITS ETF JPYLU1681037781 97 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF JPYLU1681039050 85 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
ComStage Nikkei 225 UCITS ETFLU0378453376 59 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-UKdisLU1107559616 26 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
ComStage MSCI Japan UCITS ETFLU0392495452 13 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Core MSCI Japan IMI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BFM15T99 1 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® 4.40% 4.87% 2.86% -4.67% 20.76%
FTSE Japan 4.83% 5.13% 3.55% -3.91% 21.68%
JPX-Nikkei 400 4.63% 5.30% 3.44% -3.45% 21.52%
MSCI Japan IMI 4.75% 5.36% 4.01% -3.29% 21.98%
MSCI Japan 4.83% 5.20% 4.12% -3.14% 21.38%
Nikkei 225® 4.84% 4.84% 6.26% -1.73% 33.12%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
FTSE Japan 11.66% -12.68% 19.44% 4.71% 11.14%
TOPIX® 11.77% -14.26% 20.16% 5.88% 10.34%
JPX-Nikkei 400 11.78% -12.92% 18.86% 4.41% 10.82%
MSCI Japan IMI 12.24% -12.84% 19.82% 5.55% 10.89%
MSCI Japan 13.41% -13.44% 18.63% 5.06% 8.46%
Nikkei 225® 14.65% -8.43% 20.46% 8.23% 9.85%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; 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 28 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 3 ETFs 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 2 ETFs 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 323
(30/09/19)
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 3 ETFs 323
(30/09/19)
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 323
(30/09/19)
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 323
(30/09/19)
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 4 ETFs 323
(30/09/19)
The MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to US Dollar (USD).
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 (EUR).
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 US-Dollar (USD).
Index factsheet
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 2,151
(30/09/19)
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).
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 518
(30/09/19)
The WisdomTree Japan (USD Hedged) Equity index tracks Japanese stocks. The Index is a fundamentally weighted index. Currency hedged to US-Dollar (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 1,373 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681037864 576 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI Japan USD Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00BCLWRG39 277 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF (DR) Daily Hedged D-EURFR0011475078 263 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan CHF Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B8J37J31 233 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
WisdomTree Japan Equity UCITS ETF USD HedgedIE00BVXC4854 187 0.48% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681039134 150 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 2D USD hedgedLU0927735406 109 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged EUR UCITS ETF (EUR) A-accLU0950672476 98 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged CHF UCITS ETF (CHF) A-accLU0950672120 83 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged USDLU1681039217 79 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Nomura JPX-Nikkei 400 NTR D EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BVVSZ262 57 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged EUR UCITS ETF (EUR) A-disLU0937837945 55 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged to USD UCITS ETF (USD) A-accLU0977260867 52 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Nomura Nikkei 225 EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BSKS1J57 46 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares JPX-Nikkei 400 EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BQT3W831 46 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 7C CHF hedgedLU1215827756 41 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Core MSCI Japan (DR) UCITS ETF Acc GBP HedgedLU1781541682 40 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Nomura Nikkei 225 USD Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BSMSXM06 25 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-disLU1169822340 21 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to GBP) A-accLU1169822423 17 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
WisdomTree Japan Equity UCITS ETFIE00BYQCZD50 15 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Nomura JPX-Nikkei 400 NTR D USD Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BVVSZ379 13 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor JPX-Nikkei 400 (DR) CHF Daily Hedged UCITS ETFLU1646360039 8 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 2 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (hedged to SGD) A-accLU1169822936 2 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi ETF JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged GBPLU1681039308 1 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 5.23% 0.53% -2.88% -15.57% 21.11%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 5.19% 0.64% -2.12% -14.71% 21.89%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 5.34% 0.91% -2.33% -14.52% 22.11%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) 7.75% 2.29% -4.97% -13.51% 21.37%
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 5.03% 0.20% -0.46% -13.50% 32.36%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 5.90% 3.15% 0.40% -11.30% 21.24%
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 5.75% 2.95% 0.88% -11.18% 20.79%
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 7.90% 4.97% 0.69% -10.31% 29.52%
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 7.18% 3.47% 0.00% -8.01% -
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 6.76% 5.96% 2.55% -6.31% 34.34%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 7.04% 6.25% 2.36% -6.20% 34.65%
Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) 6.60% 5.43% 4.24% -5.07% 45.64%
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) 7.66% 2.25% -4.30% - -
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 3.52% -20.86% 30.96% -3.12% 0.08%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 4.19% -19.80% 29.15% -4.03% -1.75%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 4.49% -20.34% 29.63% -3.38% -
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 5.36% -15.64% 30.37% -1.59% -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (GBP Hedged) 6.22% -20.13% 25.79% -17.37% -
MSCI Japan (GBP Hedged) 7.76% - - - -
JPX-Nikkei 400 (CHF Hedged) 8.17% -17.39% 18.57% -3.42% -
MSCI Japan (CHF Hedged) 8.20% -17.09% 17.98% -3.63% 7.80%
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 9.32% -17.98% 17.06% 3.13% -
MSCI Japan (SGD Hedged) 10.44% -16.20% 24.76% - -
MSCI Japan (USD Hedged) 12.05% -13.40% 15.58% 0.35% 9.49%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (USD Hedged) 12.45% -13.94% 16.00% 0.13% -
Nikkei 225® (USD Hedged) 13.07% -8.84% 16.70% 3.34% -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; 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 61
(30/09/19)
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 973
(30/09/19)
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
iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B2QWDY88 499 0.58% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETFIE00BYX8XC17 117 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BGDQ0V72 16 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 SRI 5.82% 6.42% 8.05% -4.73% -
MSCI Japan Small Cap 4.37% 5.99% 2.96% -4.70% 21.07%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Japan Small Cap 11.44% -15.57% 25.30% 9.67% 15.41%
MSCI Japan SRI 13.25% -12.78% - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; 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 28 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 469
(30/09/19)
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 UCITS ETFLU0392495023 225 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 3.90% 2.17% 2.52% -0.77% 21.70%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Pacific 13.50% -12.60% 18.74% 6.87% 2.52%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.