Japan's Computer and Communications Industry: The Evolution of Industrial Giants and Global Competitiveness

By Martin Fransman | Go to book overview

9 Conclusion

What of the future of the Japanese information and communications (IC) companies and NTT? It is with this question that we end this book.


CHAPTER OVERVIEW

This chapter begins with an analysis of the distinctiveness of the Japanese IC companies. How do they compare with the Japanese motor vehicle and consumer electronics companies, with Western IC companies, and with one another? The performance of the Japanese IC companies is then examined: how well have they done in terms of technological performance, competitiveness in global markets, and financial performance? Attention is then turned to the prognosis for Japanese IC companies: are they likely to strengthen their international competitiveness in the future, or will they come under increasing pressure from their Western rivals?

Conclusions are next derived regarding the role of the various organs of the Japanese government--particularly MITI and NTT--in accounting for the performance of the Japanese IC companies. How important were government policies? Could the Japanese IC companies have achieved their present positions without the interventions of the government? How successful have the government's attempts been to strengthen the technologies of the Japanese IC companies?

We then consider future prospects for NTT. Will NTT be able to deal with the challenges of increasing competition in Japan, globalization, and threatened divestiture? What changes will the company have to make in order to survive and strengthen its position into the next century? The chapter ends with some comments on the limitations of the 'information revolution'. To what extent do the new information and communications technologies make the problem of decision-making in companies and government easier?


The Distinctiveness of the Japanese IC Companies

In order to consider the future of the Japanese IC companies, we need to understand their distinctiveness. Three sets of differences will be briefly examined here: the differences between the Japanese IC companies and motor vehicle and consumer electronics companies, the differences between Japanese and Western IC companies, and the differences among the Japanese IC companies.

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