Japanese firms have established at least 1,177 businesses in the United States that directly employ 81,300 U.S. workers, according to a Colubia University study made in co-operation with the Japan Society.

The survey restricts itself only to the role of Japanese business interests in the United States and "does not pretend to be a balanced treatment of U.S-Japansese economic and trade relations," according to Eli Ginzberg, director of Columbia's Conservation of Human Resources Project.

In 1978, Japan sold $24.5 billion worth of goods in the United States while the United States shipped only $12.9 billion in goods to Japan. The imbalance in trade with Japan accounted for nearly 40 percent of the nation's total 1978 trade deficit.

A major difficulty in U.S.-Japan relations has been the difficulty of American industries penetrating the Japanese market.

The study said that six major types of Japanese firms have set up U.S. operations: trading companies, marketing and distribution companies, manufacturing firms, banks, service firms such as airlines and a wide variety of retail and real estate operations.

The Japanese operations employ 10,500 Japanese businessmen, mostly managers. The investment in U.S. operations is about $3.4 billion. The study said that another 127,800 jobs are created in the United States due to purchases of U.S.-made goods by Japanese companies operating here.