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            Japan is about to overtake the US to become No.1 in information technology, the key technology of our era. Starting four decades ago with transistor radios and televisions, the Japanese had by the 1970s come to dominate most areas of consumer electronics. In the 1980s, Japanese companies targeted and swiftly captured leadership of the critically important semiconductor industry. Along the way, the Japanese have gained a stranglehold over key areas of advanced manufacturing technology; they have come to reign supreme in modern office equipment such as faxes and photocopiers; and they have even become No.1 in the huge global telecommunications equipment market.

            In computers and software per se, Japanese companies have been steadily moving up the so-called technology “food chain”, quietly building market share in laptop computers, workstations, mainframe computers and supercomputers, and carefully targeting next-generation computing technologies. In this process, they are being aided by fundamental economic and technology trends in the IT industry.


            Author and article information

            Critical Studies in Innovation
            Pluto Journals
            June 1993
            : 11
            : 1
            : 73-94
            8629137 Prometheus, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1993: pp. 73–94
            Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 23, Pages: 22
            Original Articles

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics
            supercomputers,software,next-generation computing,personal computers,information technology,Japan,artificial intelligence


            1. Marie Anchordoguy, Computers Inc: Japan's Challenge to IBM, Council on East Asian Studies/Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1989; ‘How Japan built a computer industry,’ Harvard Business Review, July-August 1990, p. 65.

            2. Sheridan Tatsuno. . 1986. . The Technopolis Strategy: Japan, High Technology and the Control of the list Century . , p. 10 New York : : Brady/Prentice-Hall. .

            3. Sheridan Tatsuno, Created in Japan: From Imitators to World Class Innovators, Harper & Row, New York, 1990; Bill Totten, ‘Red paper’ circulated on CompuServe, Internet newsgroups and elsewhere in July, 1990.

            4. Charles H. Ferguson, ‘Computers and the coming of the US keiretsu,’ Harvard Business Review, July-August 1990, p. 55.

            5. Ferguson, op. cit., p. 56.

            6. Richard Florida and David Browdy. . 1991. . ‘The invention that got away’. . Technology Review . , Vol. 94((6)) August/September;: 43––54. .

            7. Florida and Browdy, op. cit., p. 50.

            8. David L. House quoted in Business Week, 23 October 1989, p. 74.

            9. See, for example, Business Week, 9 May 1988, pp. 66–72; Fortune, 25 September 1989, pp. 72–76.

            10. Tom Forester and Perry Morrison, Computer Ethics: Cautionary Tales and Ethical Dilemmas in Computing, Basil Blackwell, Oxford and MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990, p. 2.

            11. Forester and Morrison, op. cit., pp. 68–76.

            12. Michael Cusumano A.. 1991. . Japan's Software Factories: A Challenge to US Management . , New York : : Oxford University Press. .

            13. Business Week, 11 March 1991, p. 67.

            14. Business Week, 9 April 1990, p. 28.

            15. Clyde V. Prestowitz, Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan to Take the Lead, Basic Books, New York, 1988, p. 136; Business Week, 10 December 1990, p. 54.

            16. Business Week, 25 November 1991, pp. 50–56; Datamation, 15 July 1989, pp. 18–21.

            17. Hubert L. Dreyfus and Stuart E. Dreyfus, Mind Over Machine, Free Press, New York, 1986, p. 198; Terry Winograd, Understanding Computers and Cognition, Ablex, Norwood, NJ, 1986.

            18. New Scientist, 3 April 1986, p. 56.

            19. Edward Feigenbaum and Pamela McCorduck. . 1983. . The Fifth Generation: Japan's Computer Challenge to the World . , Reading , MA : : Addison-Wesley. .

            20. Marshall Unger J.. 1987. . The Fifth Generation Fallacy . , New York : : Oxford University Press. .

            21. Tatsuno, 1990, op. cit., pp. 167–176.

            22. Arturo Sangalli, ‘Fuzzy logic goes to market,’ New Scientist, 8 February 1992, pp. 28–31; Business Week, 21 May 1991, pp. 81–82.

            23. William F. Allman, ‘Designing computers that think the way we do’, Technology Review, 90, 4, May/June 1987, pp. 59–65.


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