Japan has had a long history of protection and a reputation as having a difficult food import market to penetrate. However, with the elimination of import restrictions and other measures since 1988 on foods like dairy products, beef and citrus, Japan has become a much more open agricultural market. The competition to supply this market has intensified. The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a 1997 survey of Japanese firms involved in the food industry in Fukuoka prefecture. The main objective of this survey was to obtain information on the factors that firms involved in the Japanese food industry believe influence the food purchasing decisions of Japanese consumers.