Stock Quotes in this Article: CAJ, TM

SAN FRANCISCO (Stockerblog) -- Economists have been saying for the last few years that Japan has been stagnating, and many of those economists believe that the U.S. is turning into another Japan. But maybe, just maybe, there may be a turn-around in the Land of the Rising Sun. After all, the iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) is up 21% since July 1 of last year.

Japan has the third-largest economy in the world based on gross domestic product for purchasing power parity and nominal GDP. Three quarters of the GDP comes from the service sector. The country's unemployment rate is 5.1%. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the largest exchange in the world outside of the United States. There are over 15 different Japanese companies that trade on American stock exchanges.

Tokyo-based Canon (CAJ), the popular manufacturer of copying machines, laser printers, inkjet printers and cameras, pays a decent 2.3% yield and trades at 19 times forward earnings. The price-earnings-growth ratio is a very reasonable 0.96. Earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30 were up an astounding 85.6% on a 17.9% rise in revenues. The company reports its most-recent quarterly earnings on Jan. 27.

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    Toyota Motor (TM) is another Japanese dividend payer, yielding 1.1%. This manufacturer of cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 20.7. Earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30 were up an incredible 352%, with sales increasing by 5.8%. Toyota reports its most-recent quarterly earnings on Feb. 4.

    For a free list of Japan-based stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, visit WallStreetNewsNetwork.

    At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

    Fred Fuld III, the publisher of stock and bond investing blog Stockerblog and founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork, has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, working as an investment advisor, options market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, vice president of a San Francisco money management firm, university faculty member and wholesaler for the New Alternatives Fund (the first environmentally conscious mutual fund). He is the author of the books Investing in Brazil Stocks and The Green Light on Green Stocks.