A Study of Strategic Themes in the Internationalisation of Japanese Industry
New Horizons in International Business series
Chapter 17: General and Precision Machinery
INTRODUCTION Overall, the Japanese machinery industries cover a major part of the manufacturing sector. There are fundamental supply linkages between the general machinery industry and the automotive and electrical and electronic products industries through the manufacture of inputs such as parts, components and equipment. Internationalisation of the automotive and electronics sectors accelerated the outward expansion of a range of industries, including the general and precision machinery industries. The general machinery industry includes a wide range of machinery, including the manufacture of metal working machinery such as lathes, metal cutting machine tools, drill presses and rolling mills. The industry is broadly based and also manufactures a range of diverse machinery, including special industrial equipment such as agricultural construction, mining, textile and plastics processing machinery, business equipment, generating machinery, pumps, compressors, elevators, roller bearings, dies and industrial robots. The Japanese precision equipment industry includes optical instruments and lenses, such as cameras, microscopes and optical equipment; watches, electric clocks and related devices; and miscellaneous precision instruments, such as weighing apparatus and measuring instruments. A number of these industries, such as cameras and medical equipment, emerged as internationally competitive industries, while others, such as watches, lost competitiveness in Japan and relocated to lower cost economies. The deﬁnition of general and precision machinery and equipment in Japanese manufacturing has been changing over time as the technical sophistication of equipment increases and the technology imbued in less advanced equipment becomes generic in nature. In essence, the level of technology embodied in machinery is an indication...
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