Global Opportunities: Japan

5G and smart vehicles are set to drive growth in Japan next, analyst says

Key Points
  • Kazunori Ito, a senior equity analyst at Ibbotson Associates Japan, sees opportunity among companies connected to the 5G mobile network and the auto industry.
  • Ito's top Japanese stock picks are electronic components companies Murata Manufacturing and TDK.
Why this analyst is bullish on Murata Manufacturing and TDK

The development of 5G mobile networks, as well as smart vehicles, will be among the next hot sectors in Japan, a senior equity analyst told CNBC.

Previously, the information technology industry in Japan was driven by products such as digital cameras and smartphones, but it has now reached a plateau, Kazunori Ito, senior equity analyst at Ibbotson Associates Japan, said last month.

"From here, I would observe many of the growth opportunities are non-IT industries, such as autos, and many other industries driven by the diffusion of 5G," he told CNBC's "Capital Connection."

Ito said his top Japanese stock picks are smartphone component maker Murata Manufacturing and electronics company TDK.

Major specifications for a new 5G mobile network are expected to be set by the industry this December, he said. At the same time, mobile usage is set to grow rapidly.

The industry expects 5G to be able to facilitate the expansion of technologies such as autonomous vehicles, robotics and virtual reality.

"We see much more numbers of devices connected to the internet. Also we expect that the data traffic will increase more than 40 or 50 percent per year," said Ito.

That all leads to a "clear road map of the future," where Murata will be in a strong position within the telecommunications sector, he said.

TDK, in particular, will stand to benefit from the digitization of vehicles, he said. That means trends such as autonomous driving or internet-connected cars.

The company is a top supplier of components for vehicles, such as capacitors and inductors, Ito explained, and it also offers sensors, which will benefit automobiles and the so-called Internet of Things.

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