INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND IN JAPAN, ENVOY SAYS

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND IN JAPAN, ENVOY SAYS

Japan offers excellent export and investment opportunities for U.S. companies, even as that country exerts its economic might in the Pacific Basin, said Keith R.Bovetti, counselor for commercial affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Mr. Bovetti cited the following opportunities at the annual Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference at the University of Southern California.* Japan will spend $8 trillion between 1986 and 2000 on roads, bridges,

airports, heliports, hotels and other infrastructure construction, he said. ''For the United States not to participate in that buildup would be a tragedy," he said.

* Japanese consumers are saving less and buying more. Clothing, furniture, floor coverings and general gift items are some of the hottest sellers.

* Partly as a result of pressure from the West, Japanese leaders are urging the country to spend less time at work and more time in leisure activities. The average work year is scheduled to drop to 1,800 hours in 1993 from 2,150 hours in 1988. All types of sports and vacation products should sell well in this environment, Mr. Bovetti said.

* In line with the increasing affluence and leisure time of the Japanese, sales of pleasure boats and demand for slips at marinas will grow, not only among the well-to-do, but the middle class as well.

* As the population ages, the increasingly affluent Japanese will look more to comfortable retirement communities, similar to those that are prevalent in California and Florida.