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 8 indices, which are tracked by ETFs. Besides these indices 3 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 5 currency hedged indices tracked by 12 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: 0.82%
1 year: 19.23%
3 years: 19.50%
5 years: 57.30%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on Japan

For an investment in the Japanese stock market, 8 indices tracked by 24 ETFs are available. On the FTSE Japan index there are 2 ETFs. On the JPX-Nikkei 400 index there are 3 ETFs. On the MSCI Japan index there are 11 ETFs. On the MSCI Japan IMI index there is 1 ETF. On the MSCI Japan Large Cap index there is 1 ETF. On the Nikkei 225® index there are 4 ETFs. On the Solactive Core Japan Large & Mid Cap index there is 1 ETF. On the TOPIX® index there is 1 ETF. 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 2 ETFs 505
(29.11.19)
The FTSE Japan index tracks Japanese large and mid cap stocks.
Index factsheet

JPX-Nikkei 400

Japan 3 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 11 ETFs 324
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan index tracks leading Japanese stocks.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan IMI

Japan 1 ETF 1,312
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan IMI index tracks stocks from Japan. It covers securities across large, mid and small cap size segments.
Index factsheet

MSCI Japan Large Cap

Japan 1 ETF 138
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan Large Cap index tracks Japanese large cap stocks.
Index factsheet

Nikkei 225®

Japan 4 ETFs 225
The Nikkei 225® index tracks the 225 most actively traded stocks on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Index factsheet

Solactive Core Japan Large & Mid Cap

Japan 1 ETF 338
(29.11.19)
The Solactive Core Japan Large & Mid Cap index tracks the Japanese market and measures the performance of large and mid-cap publicly traded which satisfy minimum criteria relating to liquidity and size and excludes companies: (a) engaged in pure coal mining; (b) involved in the production of controversial weapons, such as cluster weapons, anti-personnel mines or biological and chemical weapons; or (c) that, for a continuous period of three years, have been classified as being in breach of at least one of the UN Global Compact principles.
Index factsheet

TOPIX®

Japan 1 ETF 2,155
(29.11.19)
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 EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core MSCI Japan IMI UCITS ETFIE00B4L5YX21 4,944 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 1CLU0274209740 1,889 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETF DistributingIE00B95PGT31 1,735 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF 1DLU0839027447 1,420 0.09% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B02KXH56 1,332 0.59% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan UCITS ETF (JPY) A-disLU0136240974 1,134 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF (DR) D-EURFR0010245514 662 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
Lyxor Core MSCI Japan (DR) UCITS ETFLU1781541252 492 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B53QDK08 418 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi Index MSCI Japan UCITS ETF DR EUR (C)LU1602144732 336 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers JPX-Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF 1DIE00BPVLQD13 222 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52MJD48 211 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI Japan UCITS ETF USDDE000A1C0BD3 179 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681038912 158 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
iShares Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF (DE)DE000A0H08D2 156 0.51% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
Deka MSCI Japan UCITS ETFDE000ETFL300 123 0.50% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
Invesco JPX-Nikkei 400 UCITS ETFIE00BPRCH686 122 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
L&G Japan Equity UCITS ETFDE000A2PADQ2 105 0.10% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Sampling
ComStage Nikkei 225 UCITS ETFLU0378453376 50 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco MSCI Japan UCITS ETFIE00B60SX287 14 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
ComStage MSCI Japan UCITS ETFLU0392495452 14 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Vanguard FTSE Japan UCITS ETF AccumulatingIE00BFMXYX26 7 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Deka MSCI Japan Large Cap UCITS ETFDE000ETFL102 7 0.50% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
SPDR MSCI Japan UCITS ETFIE00BZ0G8B96 4 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® 2.28% 9.57% 13.15% 10.31% 20.91%
FTSE Japan 2.52% 10.26% 13.87% 12.04% 22.90%
JPX-Nikkei 400 2.40% 10.46% 13.89% 12.50% 21.43%
MSCI Japan IMI 2.80% 10.28% 14.22% 12.55% 23.91%
MSCI Japan 2.51% 10.18% 14.04% 12.78% 22.69%
MSCI Japan Large Cap 2.48% 9.65% 12.99% 13.06% 21.78%
Nikkei 225® 2.45% 10.23% 13.80% 13.61% 33.62%
Solactive Core Japan Large & Mid Cap 2.46% 10.25% 14.29% - -
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
TOPIX® 20.71% -10.62% 10.27% 6.62% 22.73%
FTSE Japan 21.31% -9.33% 9.60% 5.65% 23.35%
MSCI Japan IMI 22.06% -9.50% 9.96% 6.50% 23.08%
JPX-Nikkei 400 22.43% -10.59% 9.87% 5.38% -
Solactive Core Japan Large & Mid Cap 22.55% - - - -
MSCI Japan 22.69% -9.90% 9.00% 5.81% 20.62%
MSCI Japan Large Cap 22.76% -8.86% 8.25% 5.63% 20.33%
Nikkei 225® 24.10% -4.70% 10.69% 8.95% 22.23%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR 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 5 currency hedged Japan indices tracked by 12 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 (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
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) Japan 5 ETFs 324
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) index tracks leading stocks on the Japanese market. Currency hedged to Euro (EUR).
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
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) Japan 2 ETFs 2,155
(29.11.19)
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 1 ETF 519
(29.11.19)
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 EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Japan EUR Hedged UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B42Z5J44 1,208 0.64% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Index UCITS ETF 4C EUR hedgedLU0659580079 763 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi Japan Topix UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681037864 534 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Japan (Topix) UCITS ETF (DR) Daily Hedged D-EURFR0011475078 252 0.45% p.a. Distributing France Full replication
WisdomTree Japan Equity UCITS ETF USD HedgedDE000A14SLH0 184 0.48% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi JPX Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF Daily Hedged EUR (C)LU1681039134 165 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Japan hedged EUR UCITS ETF (EUR) A-accLU0950672476 94 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Invesco JPX-Nikkei 400 EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BVGC6645 38 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Xtrackers JPX-Nikkei 400 UCITS ETF 3C EUR hedgedIE00BRB36B93 28 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers Nikkei 225 UCITS ETF 2D EUR HedgedLU1875395870 14 0.19% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
ComStage MSCI Japan 100% Daily Hedged Euro UCITS ETFLU1033694107 5 0.41% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Japan EUR Hedged UCITS ETFIE00BZ0G8C04 4 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 1.90% 12.90% 11.21% 2.85% 17.14%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 1.99% 12.77% 11.36% 3.73% 17.59%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 1.84% 13.01% 11.77% 4.19% 17.79%
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 1.91% 12.90% 11.28% 5.24% -
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 3.08% 16.44% 15.32% 8.06% 17.12%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
TOPIX® (EUR Hedged) 14.73% -17.82% 20.18% -2.25% 11.06%
MSCI Japan (EUR Hedged) 15.41% -16.73% 18.52% -3.17% 9.06%
JPX-Nikkei 400 (EUR Hedged) 15.81% -17.28% 18.96% -2.51% -
Nikkei 225® (EUR Hedged) 17.48% - - - -
WisdomTree Japan Equity (USD Hedged) 21.87% -14.82% 7.41% 4.02% -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR 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 3 alternative indices on Japan tracked by 4 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 Mid Cap Japan
Mid Cap
1 ETF 186
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan Mid Cap index tracks Japanese mid cap stocks.
Index factsheet
MSCI Japan SRI Japan
Social/Environmental
2 ETFs 60
(29.11.19)
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 988
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Japan Small Cap index tracks Japanese small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B2QWDY88 475 0.58% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETFIE00BYX8XC17 190 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BGDQ0V72 15 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Deka MSCI Japan MC UCITS ETFDE000ETFL318 3 0.50% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI Japan Small Cap 3.00% 10.58% 14.61% 10.61% 26.25%
MSCI Japan Mid Cap 2.20% 11.47% 15.38% 10.73% 18.78%
MSCI Japan SRI 3.17% 13.29% 17.87% 15.18% -
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Japan Mid Cap 20.21% -11.95% 10.37% 4.96% 22.18%
MSCI Japan Small Cap 21.94% -12.31% 15.00% 10.64% 28.09%
MSCI Japan SRI 25.34% -9.43% - - -

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR 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 5 indices tracked by 12 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
(29.11.19)
The MSCI Pacific index tracks the equity markets of the developed markets in the Pacific region.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m EUR
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
ComStage MSCI Pacific UCITS ETFLU0392495023 199 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 2.25% 8.47% 10.89% 14.06% 22.62%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI Pacific 21.95% -8.91% 8.96% 7.63% 14.03%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30.11.19; Calculations in EUR based on the largest ETF of the respective index.