The mere mention of Japan to those involved in business aviation results in a sigh, a roll of the eyes and a shrug of the shoulder. The world's second largest economy is a beacon of innovation that produces marquee brands like Sony and Toyota.
Yet its restrictive policies have resulted in it having only 60-odd business aircraft - in contrast, the USA, home to the world's largest economy and business aircraft fleet, has over 16,000.
Unlike other Asian countries, poor infrastructure or high fees do not plague Japan
. Instead, it is held back by a myopic bureaucracy that still applies 30-year-old regulations - 60min ETOPS thresholds, forcing foreign-registered aircraft to apply for permits seven days before flights, limits on slots for business aircraft at Tokyo
's Narita and Haneda airports while simultaneously preventing access to the capital's secondary airports.
There is pent-up demand for business aircraft in Japan, yet after years of challenging the status quo the exasperated business aviation community has elected to concentrate its efforts on the booming Indian and Chinese markets instead.
While these countries face numerous challenges to build and develop infrastructure, their governments are working diligently to accommodate their business aviation industries - which, as a result, are thriving. Japan has hinted that it may ease some restrictions for business aviation this year. Let's hope so.