For decades, peaking in the 1980s, Japan was an industrial giant. During this time, its economy was driven by advanced technology companies.
More recently, though, Japanese companies have fallen behind in the digital revolution. As digital competitors, Singapore and China lead their proud neighbor.
Large Japanese companies — like Mitsubishi and Canon — continue to produce reliable products. These products are just no longer technologically advanced nor digital-first.
As it embraces Industry 4.0, the next generation of disruptive Japanese companies will deeply incorporate the world’s most advanced technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous transportation, and physical-digital networks.
Even the government says evolution must be faster.
“Japan lags behind in virtual data, cloud data and related services. In Japan, there are no such companies as Google, Apple, Amazon or Netflix,” says Takashi Kono, a deputy director in Meti.