This study examines the determinants of performance of foreign manufacturing subsidiaries in Japan. The study finds that a foreign parent's size, the subsidiary's age, and a complicated distribution system influence a subsidiary's performance. There was little significant change in these determinants over a 20-year period. However, for subsidiaries that survived over the observation period of this study, some determinants changed. We also found that by forming joint ventures with Japanese firms, foreign firms can overcome the obstacle of distribution and circumvent the disadvantage of inexperience. Moreover, the mitigating effects of joint ventures vary, depending on the type of Japanese partner.