Japanese Business in Canada: The Elusive Alliance


110 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88645-005-5




Reviewed by Robert B. Shortly

Robert B. Shortly was a chartered accountant in Toronto.


The Institute for Research on Public Policy was founded in 1972 to carry out research projects which facilitate informed public debate on issues of major public interest, to stimulate participation in the public policy-making process, and to find practical solutions to corporate public policy problems.

With the rapid increase of direct overseas investment by Japanese corporations in the late 1970s, the potential for considerable Japanese business investment in Canada is considered to be enormous. Before this potential can be realized, however, Canadian policy-makers must be aware of the nature, role, and impact of Japanese investment in Canada; this is crucial for establishing sound policies relating to the growing Canada/Japan economic relationship.

Richard Wright, Professor of International Business at McGill University, is active throughout the world in management training and business consulting. Moreover, he lived and worked in Japan for several periods. His study chronicles and analyzes the Japanese business presence in Canada. He brings out several distinguishing characteristics of Japanese investment, a major one being of particular interest to Canada and its concern about foreign control, in that the Japanese have a high proportion in the form of loans rather than equity and will often take minority holdings.

If one can tolerate or bypass the tables and immense background detail, and if one is in an environment that could or should come in contact with foreign investors, the information contained in the study is very revealing. However, it still is an academic study and should be read as such.


Wright, Richard W., “Japanese Business in Canada: The Elusive Alliance,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37764.