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Why do institutional investors choose CBRE for their Japanese real estate needs?

Article - March 2, 2023

Thanks to extensive national coverage, a series of specialized teams and a wide international network, CBRE Japan has become the go-to partner for foreign institutional investors looking to gain entry to Japan’s lucrative real estate market.


“We have an excellent understanding of what overseas investors are looking for and can offer a multi-dimensional perspective that helps clients transform their business and find greater success.”

Akira Nozu, (, Head of Asset Management,

Japan’s reputedly stable real estate market has served as a safe haven for foreign investors in these uncertain times. Having proven its resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese real estate sector has seen the number of foreign players grow substantially in recent years, with many turning to CBRE K.K. – the Japanese arm of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm – as their first point of contact when entering the market.

Offering a wide range of real estate services, CBRE K.K. has focused heavily on strengthening its asset management services over the past two years, during which time its assets under management (AUM) have doubled to reach 392 billion yen ($2.9 billion – as of August 2022). And company senior director and head of asset management, Akira Nozu, reveals the company’s target is to reach 700 billion yen within five years. But “beyond the numbers”, Mr. Nozu says his “true passion is to maximize the potential of CBRE”.

“I think our strength lies in our ability to bring together various specialists and interesting business opportunities. In the asset management team, we closely manage our clients on an individual basis. The great strength of CBRE is its ability to identify synergies, collaborate across departments, and provide an integrated service that unlocks the value of real estate in every dimension.”

Among more than 100 real estate and asset management companies in Japan, CBRE K.K. has managed to differentiate itself as a globally-minded firm with unrivaled local know-how, thanks mainly to its vast coverage of the market through its nationwide network of offices. “With offices from Sapporo to Fukuoka, we have highly-knowledgeable local specialists in these areas who collaborate across teams and regions,” explains Mr. Nozu.

“Another strength is the breadth and depth of our services. We have 17 different service lines that provide clients with integrated solutions. I work in the asset management department, but CBRE also has specialized teams in research, consulting, leasing, logistics, data centers and many other sectors.”

Supported by CBRE’s globally-reaching network, CBRE K.K. helps foreign investors to navigate through what can be a challenging entry into the Japanese real estate market, due to bureaucratic issues and complex documentation that is often only available in Japanese. Testament to the quality, depth and reputation of the company’s services is the fact that overseas institutional investors account for 85% of its portfolio.

Among those international clients is a major U.S. developer that recently decided to hire CBRE’s asset management team when making a large-scale investment in Japan. “From complex issues to basic requests, such as Japanese-to-English translation, we supported them every step of the way,” says Mr. Nozu. “This stance is true for all our clients. We strive to be a one-stop service and strategic partner who provides intelligence that drives investment growth.”

CBRE K.K.’s portfolio is mainly composed of offices, which represent roughly 58%, followed by logistics facilities and hotels. Moving forward, the company is looking to increase its investment in other areas such as data centers and healthcare and life science facilities, as well as growing its foothold in the hotels segment, which is experiencing a slow but steady rebound as the end of pandemic-restricted travel draws near. “Our portfolio closely resembles the composition of the Japanese real estate market as a whole,” adds Mr. Nozu. “We tailor our services to the individual investor we are working with. At CBRE, we work hand in hand with our investors to find the right assets for them.”

As stressed by Mr. Nozu, CBRE has offices across the globe which equips its Japanese arm with both local and international expertise. “As such, we have an excellent understanding of what overseas investors are looking for and can offer a multi-dimensional perspective that helps clients transform their business and find greater success. Any entity or investor interested in the Japanese real estate market should connect with us to learn more.”