Markets and Organization in Japan
The characteristics of interfirm relationships in primary intermediate products industries of twentieth-century Japan are diverse even when they are considered consistently from the viewpoint of market and organizational principles. In addition, interfirm relationships have continued to change remarkably from one historical period to another. Nevertheless, steel, machine tool, IC and LCD materials industries have shared many commonalities. It is important to note that Japanese companies in all four of these industries have remained competitive and have managed to maintain their leading positions in the world market, regardless of the length of their individual histories. At the same time, three of the four industries – steel, machine tools and IC industries – share some commonalities. Compared with advanced West European countries and the US, Japan was a latecomer to these industries. However, Japan attained self-sufficiency within a certain period and even came to boast its international competitiveness.
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