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Close up of a computer chip held by two fingers under red light.
  1. What Kinds of Work Do People Do in Japan?
  2. Where Men and Women Work in Japan
  3. Reviving Basic Industries in Postwar Japan
  4. Japan’s Shipbuilding Industry
  5. Mining: An Industry in Decline
  6. Industrial Policy and Depressed Industries
  7. Consumer Goods Industries
  8. Small Firms in the Japanese Economy
  9. Links Between Large and Small Firms
  10. The Japanese Electronics Industry
  11. Beginning of the Japanese Automobile Industry
  12. The Rise of the Japanese Auto Industry and Auto Exports
  13. The Mobile Telephone Industry
  14. The Computer Game Industry
  15. Shopping Habits and Retail Stores
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Four computer chips in an open palm
Semi-conductors are one of Japan’s chief exports.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
The Japanese Electronics Industry
From transistor radios and color television sets in the 1960s, Japan developed a many-faceted electronics industry ranging from consumer electronics and computer-guided machine tools in the 1970s and 1980s to semiconductors, computers, and computer peripherals in the 1990s and beyond. The hallmarks of these electronics products have been innovation, miniaturization, and high product quality. Although Japanese consumers also are heavy purchasers of consumer electrical appliances and electronics, the industry has grown largely because of export demand. Since the mid-1980s Japan has been concentrating domestically on technologically sophisticated goods and new product development, while moving the manufacture of consumer electrical appliances overseas where production costs are lower. Japan is the world’s number one producer of computer-guided machine tools, and is home to three of the world’s top ten semiconductor companies by sales rank (Toshiba, NEC, and Hitachi).
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