Japanese companies are accelerating their expansion into China, one of Japan’s most important export markets, driven by a strengthening yen and a declining domestic population, the South China Morning Post reported. “In order for Japanese companies to survive and grow, we need to work out a strategy to expand into our export markets. One of the best ways will be revising the supply chain of Japanese goods and moving production bases further into China,” said Mika Hanada, a director at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Since April, JETRO has provided advice on investing overseas to an increasing number of Japanese companies, especially electronics, auto and food manufacturers. Most companies are targeting inland areas in China to set up low-cost production bases, rather than the already-satured coastal regions. To tackle issues with finding local talent and navigating intellectual property ownership, Japanese companies are also increasingly looking at joint ventures, said Hanada. China accounted for 21.1% of Japan’s total imports and 20.0% of its total exports in the first half of 2011.