Japan’s Computer and Communications Industry: The Evolution of Industrial Giants and Global Competitiveness

Companies such as Toyota, Nissan, and Sony have a powerful presence in world markets, so much so that their names are household words to Western consumers. But another group of Japanese companies–NTT (Nippon Telephone & Telegraph), NEC, Sumitomo Electric, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toshiba–are not so well known. Though they are economic powerhouses in Japan and very large by world standards–indeed, NTT was recently identified as the largest company in the entire world by BusinessWeek– these computer and communications firms have not achieved the same global success as their neighbors in automobiles and consumer electronics. Why should this be so? And what are the implications of the global marketplace for the future competitiveness of these companies?

Japan’s Computer and Communications Industry is the most authoritative examination to date of the strengths and weaknesses, past and future of this dynamic sector of the Japanese economy. Based on more than 600 personal interviews with Japanese leaders taken over a period of over eight years, this book provides an unprecedented amount of new empirical material, offering the fullest picture ever of its subject. Its special focus on NTT (Japan’s AT&T) will be of particular interest as that company tries to fend off a government move to break it up into smaller companies in 1995. And its clear analyses of complex issues will be essential reading for a broad audience of economists, businesspeople, and investors who study Japan, do business with Japan, or work in the computer and communications industry worldwide.

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