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Makoto Hirano, Mitsuhiro Kurashige and Kiyonori Sakakibara

Yanagiya Machinery Co. Ltd was initially involved in processing local fish to steamed fish paste, as one of the small regional enterprises in Japanese traditional craft-like industries, over 100 years ago. However, they have recently grown to be a medium-sized enterprise with over 150 employees and annual sales of over 4 billion yen. Their current business areas are designing, manufacturing and selling machines for producing processed foods – mainly steamed fish paste. Nowadays, they are developing and exporting machines for a variety of manufacturing needs within the processed foods industry. This chapter describes how they have shifted their operations to such a growing market domain and how they have developed original technologies with competitive competence. Their experience of transforming the business could be instructive to other regional small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in declining manufacturing industries.