Warren Buffett is doubling down on these Japanese stocks. How can ASX investors do the same?

Here are two ways Aussie investors might take inspiration from Buffett's latest buy.

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Key points

  • Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has acquired a 7.4% stake in five Japanese trading houses
  • ASX investors wishing to follow in his footsteps might choose to invest in the iShares MSCI Japan ETF
  • They might also consider investing in ASX-listed investment houses such as ASX 200 share Soul Patts

Warren Buffett is reportedly doubling down on Japanese stocks, bolstering his company's holding in the nation's five largest trading houses.

The man behind US$692 billion conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (and arguably the face of value investing) told Nikkei that he's "very proud" of the company's stakes in Itochu Corp, Marubeni CorpMitsubishi CorpMitsui & Co, and Sumitomo Corp.

Berkshire Hathaway first snapped up shares in the trading houses – otherwise known as sogo shosha – in 2020, walking away with slightly more than 5% of the businesses, and has returned for more in the years since.

Buffett has now bolstered Berkshire's stake in each of the Japanese shares to 7.4%, CNBC reports. And that might not be the last of the investing great's buying action.

The trading houses operate businesses in a multitude of industries, ranging from finance and banking to chemicals and textiles. Commenting on their appeal, Buffett told Nikkei:

We feel that these five companies are a cross section of not only Japan but of the world.

They are really so much similar to Berkshire. They own a lot of different things.

So, how might ASX investors follow in Buffett's footsteps? Here are two avenues one might take.

How can ASX investors follow in Buffett's footsteps?

Unfortunately, none of the Japanese shares snapped up by Buffett is also listed on the ASX.

However, there are two ways in which I think one could take inspiration from the billionaire's latest move without leaving the Aussie bourse.

Invest in Japan-focused ETFs

The first is to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

One listed on the ASX is the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (ASX: IJP). Each of the five Japanese stocks recently bought by Buffett make up between 1.35% and 0.59% of the ETF.

Look to ASX-listed investment houses

Another way to take inspiration from Buffett's latest buy may be to look to the investment houses' Aussie counterparts.

One such ASX-listed investment house is Washington H Soul Pattinson and Co Ltd (ASX: SOL). It boasts a diversified portfolio of assets across a range of industries, with some of its major holdings operating in the energy and building sectors.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Berkshire Hathaway and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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