International Jewellery Tokyo Autumn 2023

Pacifico Yokohama
Exhibition Information

We had exhibited at International Jewellery Tokyo Autumn 2023, held at Pacifico Yokohama for 3days from October 25 to 27, 2023. This year has been one of the most turbulent in recent year. Looking back, this year seems to be a turning point in which the world changed dramatically.

The year began with the COVID-19 pandemic and the world remained under quarantine to prevent infection, the world was divided and the future was uncertain. The natural environment is changing due to global climate change, and the number of plants and animals that support human life is decreasing. In addition, Russia’s continuous invasion of Ukraine has caused energy and food prices to rise, leaving people in a state of anxiety and slowing economy.

However, in February, as the COVID-19 situation settled down, travel restrictions were lifted in many countries and people began to travel around the world. The mood of the people after being freed from nearly 3 years of isolation and restrictions due to the COVID-19 has improved dramatically, and people are going out more than before the pandemic, perhaps due to stress, and many cities around the world are crowded with tourists. There was a huge shopping spree, and the economy was showing signs of a V-shaped recovery due to the inbound tourism.

In fact, in the spring, our industry experienced an economic recovery, business was booming, and prices risen to unprecedented levels as various commodities were competitively priced. The supply chain has not been fully restored due to COVID-19 pandemic, and the shortage of merchandise has not kept pace with the improvement in people’s moods, the market price of the products will continue to rise further in the future, and the atmosphere seemed to be one of “We have to get it while we can”.

However, the situation changed drastically around the summer, and the mood turned stagnant. The world’s business confidence deteriorated considerably, at the head of the two major powers, the U.S. and China. As a result, our industry also experienced a sharp drop in market prices for many of the commodities which had risen sharply in price. Companies which actively stocked up on high-priced products in anticipation that prices would continue to rise from around spring, having hard time to sell out their stock now.

While the strategic competition between the two major powers, the U.S. and China, has intensified, both countries have become exhausted and their economies have been in a slump. In the meantime, it seems that the global power structure is changing. India has overtaken China to become the world’s number one in population, and is the self-appointed leader of the emerging and developing countries, known as the Global South, and presided over the G20 Summit in September. India’s rapid economic growth has led many countries to invest in the country, and there are high expectations for India.

ASEAN countries with high potential for future economic development due to the demographic dividend are also attracting attention. ASEAN countries have made steady progress in economic and financial integration within the region and have made considerable progress in facilitating trade. The goal is to establish a single market and production base through the free movement of goods, services, investment, and people within the region, to attract foreign capital, and to build a community that is not defeated by large countries. With rising incomes in all countries, further expansion of consumer markets and the emergence of businesses for the newly-rich are expected.

Furthermore, Japan has also been in the spotlight for the first time in a while. Foreign money began to reassess Japan, and the Nikkei Stock Average reached its highest level since the bubble economy era for the first time in 33 years. Japan has become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations due to the yen’s depreciation, and foreign investors seem to be expecting a boom in Japan in anticipation of the inbound economy. In fact, everywhere you go, you can see foreign tourists and the transportation system is completely different from what it used to be, overflowing with them.

It seems that there are other factors that are beginning to drive global money toward Japan. Japan’s AI and semiconductor fields are attracting attention. It has been pointed out that the emergence of ChatGPT may render the Internet search business of Google, etc. worthless, and Japan is considered to be very advanced in this field of AI. In the field of semiconductors, the production of the latest semiconductors would be impossible without Japan’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment and components.

Japan is also far ahead other countries in the fields of optical communications and quantum computing. The development of 6G optical communications is expected to be ready by 2030, which will have a considerable impact because 6G will reduce power consumption to 1/100 of the current level. Besides, if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes to an end, Japan is likely to enjoy a special demand for reconstruction, as it has an array of companies well-positioned with technology for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The situation is changing drastically, and the jewelry show in Yokohama was no exception. The show was different from a decade ago in that there were fewer companies exhibiting their products in an attractive manner, and the jewelry show was dominated by companies that focused on immediate sales with an awareness of market prices, and by companies run by foreigners living in Japan that target overseas buyers, including those from China.

Although it was a jewelry show held in Japan, the number of Japanese visitors to the show was quite small, and it was difficult to deal with merchandise that had risen too much due to inflation, so it was difficult to compete with overseas buyers who were able to respond to overseas market prices. Therefore, I felt that high-quality and high-priced merchandise would disappear from Japan in the future.

In addition, the trend of overseas buyers seemed to be changing a little. Chinese buyers, who are the main overseas buyers, are purchasing mainly pearls, which are currently in short supply and prices are soaring, and the Pearl Pavilion was crowded with Chinese buyers. On the other hand, the purchasing points for colored stone products have been narrowed down, and prices and quality have become much tighter than before.

Other overseas buyers, mainly from the Philippines, were selling their products through live commerce using SNS, and the market seemed to be more active than before. In addition, new live commerce people from Vietnam and other ASEAN countries were also seen this time, indicating that live commerce is entering a new phase. Many of live streamers are also changing from individuals to corporate organizations, and they seem to believe that it will continue to be a viable business in the future.

This jewelry show was dominated by overseas buyers, with only a few Japanese visitors.This year has been a year of great change. And, I believe that next year will be another year of great change also. Our industry is entering a period of generational change, as those who have led the industry up to this point are disappearing. Our industry will change along with this turning point. We hope to see you again at the jewelry show next January as we continue to change with the times. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who came to this show. Thank you very much and see you again.