Japan Data

Number of Individual Shareholders Rising in Japan


The number of individual shareholders in Japan hit a record 59.8 million in March 2021.

A Japan Exchange Group survey on share ownership in fiscal 2020 found that the number of non-unique individual shareholders hit a record 59.8 million in March 2021, up 3.1 million from the year before.

The total has been rising for the last seven years—a rise which is attributed to an uptick in individual trading, spurred by financial deregulation, high share prices in industrialized countries that deployed financial measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased use of NISAs (Nippon Individual Savings Accounts).

The survey covers the 3,823 stocks listed on Japan’s four stock exchanges. For the purposes of this survey, the individual shareholder total is calculated by adding the numbers of shareholders on all four exchanges. In other words, if a single individual shareholder owns shares in 10 different companies, he or she will be counted as 10 individual shareholders.

The survey found that the total number of shareholders increased by 3.1 million to 61.3 million during the period. Of these, 97.5% were individual shareholders, while the remainder included enterprise corporations (1.3%), foreign corporations (0.9%), and financial institutions (0.2%). Since hitting 50 million in fiscal 2017, the number of individual shareholders has continued to grow at around 5% per year.

By shareholder type, the individuals/other entities (non-incorporated bodies) category now owns a record ¥125.5 trillion worth of shares, up ¥35.1 trillion. Meanwhile, foreign corporations own ¥226.3 trillion (up ¥63.8 trillion), financial institutions own ¥224 trillion (up ¥62.5 trillion), and enterprise corporations own ¥153 trillion (up ¥30.8 trillion). Individual shareholdings make up a total of 16.8% of the total, up 0.3 points.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The Tokyo Stock Exchange in Chūō, Tokyo, in January 2021. © Jiji.)

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