Decline of Japan Thread


gadgetcool5

New Member
Registered Member
Hi guys,

The decline of Japan fascinates me, as it was once considered a major Asian competitor to the U.S. but slowly collapsed into a pitiful state. One reason is that Japan missed out on the personal computer revolution of the 1990's. Japan's semiconductor industry once shocked the world, rising from nothing (the first
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) to over 50% world market by 1988 through its advanced DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory chips). Meanwhile US market share collapsed from dominance to just 35% and the leading US lithography supplier, ElmerPerkins, was forced to exit the market in 1989. This created major political headaches in Washington D.C. and in 1986, the
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. (If you want some insight into American thinking on industrial policy as well as some entertaining look back on the paranoia of the 1980s,
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)

However since then, Japan's market share for semiconductors has collapsed from 50% to just 7% and going to zero. Here is an interesting article:

" Japanese companies accounted for more than 50% of the IC market in the second half of the 1980s and 49% in 1990. But by 2017, the share of Japanese companies has fallen to 7%.

Why is the situation like this?

Yukio Noguch, a consultant at the Waseda University Business Finance Research Center in Japan, believes that there are deeper reasons. On June 8th, Japan's "Diamond Weekly" magazine published an article by Yukio Noguch entitled "What is the root cause of the decline of the Japanese semiconductor industry? ", the author explained his deep insights in the article. The article is now excerpted as follows:

"In fact, DRAM is not a product that requires too much technology, and emerging countries will one day produce low-cost DRAM products. As a result, Japan's semiconductor industry will also decline due to price competition with emerging countries. The same thing happened later in the LCD field. Not only LCD, but in many areas of manufacturing, as products are commercialized, price competition has intensified.

The real problem with the Japanese semiconductor industry is that it has not been able to transition to products such as CPUs that require high technology.

So why are Japanese semiconductor manufacturers failing to make a transition to CPU production? That is because the basic research and development capabilities are weak.

For the CPU, the important thing is not only the semiconductor chip hardware itself, but more importantly, the software part of the integration. The same thing happens in other areas, such as the camera field.

At the stage of transitioning from a film camera to a digital camera, Japanese camera manufacturers were keeping up with the trend. However, when a smartphone appears, the most important thing becomes the artificial intelligence image recognition function provided by the smartphone. That is to say, the "brain" that processes image information becomes necessary compared to the "eye" of the camera lens. In this field, Japan’s basic development capabilities are clearly behind.

In the end, Japan's semiconductor industry was left behind in the world trend after the 1990s. The fundamental reason is the lack of ability to create new things, especially in the information-related areas.

The significance of basic education

New technologies can come from companies, but not exactly. Basic research in universities is also important.

When the US industry weakened in the 1980s, American universities were still very strong.

So what is the situation in Japan at the time? When Japan dominated the world in the semiconductor industry in the 1980s, it was also strong in the academic world associated with it. Japanese scholars play a leading role in the semiconductor-related international society.

However, this state has not been maintained. Since then, Japan’s research capacity has declined.

It can be seen that Japanese universities have not kept up with the development of the world in the most advanced fields because they cannot reconstruct the research and education system according to changes in society. If we stop growing, the reconstruction of the university will not be possible. Therefore, the research in the fields needed by society cannot be completed, and the economy cannot grow."

----------

While the author blames the weakness of Japan's basic research university system, I think that is only part of the picture. In retrospect, Japan never fully caught up with the US and its market share advantage was a mirage, because it was based on low tech DRAM. In fact in the 1980s the PC revolution was already beginning and although Japan dominated in consumer electronics (such as the Sony Walkman) it was never a serious competitor in the Personal Computer space, not even in the 1980s, neither hardware or software. Japan never even tried to seriously compete in the PC space.

This would eventually doom its lead in semiconductors as well. Thus, in reality Japan was never more than a marginal player in the larger technological trends of the time.

The real lesson of Japan's decline is that you cannot get too excited over dominance in one area (such as DRAM). If you are not leading in basic research and competitive in all major areas, you will eventually lose out. For China, it must not cede any areas to the US and actively compete against Google in OS as well as with Intel and AMD, as well as in biotech and aerospace fields. Winning shallow victories in narrow technologies will not hold.
 
Last edited:

ansy1968

Junior Member
Registered Member
Hi guys,

The decline of Japan fascinates me, as it was once considered a major Asian competitor to the U.S. but slowly collapsed into a pitiful state. One reason is that Japan missed out on the personal computer revolution of the 1990's. Japan's semiconductor industry once shocked the world, rising from nothing (the first
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) to over 50% world market by 1988 through its advanced DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory chips). Meanwhile US market share collapsed from dominance to just 35% and the leading US lithography supplier, ElmerPerkins, was forced to exit the market in 1989. This created major political headaches in Washington D.C. and in 1986, the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. (If you want some insight into American thinking on industrial policy as well as some entertaining look back on the paranoia of the 1980s,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
)

However since then, Japan's market share for semiconductors has collapsed from 50% to just 7% and going to zero. Here is an interesting article:

" Japanese companies accounted for more than 50% of the IC market in the second half of the 1980s and 49% in 1990. But by 2017, the share of Japanese companies has fallen to 7%.

Why is the situation like this?

Yukio Noguch, a consultant at the Waseda University Business Finance Research Center in Japan, believes that there are deeper reasons. On June 8th, Japan's "Diamond Weekly" magazine published an article by Yukio Noguch entitled "What is the root cause of the decline of the Japanese semiconductor industry? ", the author explained his deep insights in the article. The article is now excerpted as follows:

"In fact, DRAM is not a product that requires too much technology, and emerging countries will one day produce low-cost DRAM products. As a result, Japan's semiconductor industry will also decline due to price competition with emerging countries. The same thing happened later in the LCD field. Not only LCD, but in many areas of manufacturing, as products are commercialized, price competition has intensified.

The real problem with the Japanese semiconductor industry is that it has not been able to transition to products such as CPUs that require high technology.

So why are Japanese semiconductor manufacturers failing to make a transition to CPU production? That is because the basic research and development capabilities are weak.

For the CPU, the important thing is not only the semiconductor chip hardware itself, but more importantly, the software part of the integration. The same thing happens in other areas, such as the camera field.

At the stage of transitioning from a film camera to a digital camera, Japanese camera manufacturers were keeping up with the trend. However, when a smartphone appears, the most important thing becomes the artificial intelligence image recognition function provided by the smartphone. That is to say, the "brain" that processes image information becomes necessary compared to the "eye" of the camera lens. In this field, Japan’s basic development capabilities are clearly behind.

In the end, Japan's semiconductor industry was left behind in the world trend after the 1990s. The fundamental reason is the lack of ability to create new things, especially in the information-related areas.

The significance of basic education

New technologies can come from companies, but not exactly. Basic research in universities is also important.

When the US industry weakened in the 1980s, American universities were still very strong.

So what is the situation in Japan at the time? When Japan dominated the world in the semiconductor industry in the 1980s, it was also strong in the academic world associated with it. Japanese scholars play a leading role in the semiconductor-related international society.

However, this state has not been maintained. Since then, Japan’s research capacity has declined.

It can be seen that Japanese universities have not kept up with the development of the world in the most advanced fields because they cannot reconstruct the research and education system according to changes in society. If we stop growing, the reconstruction of the university will not be possible. Therefore, the research in the fields needed by society cannot be completed, and the economy cannot grow."

----------

While the author blames the weakness of Japan's basic research university system, I think that is only part of the picture. In retrospect, Japan never fully caught up with the US and its market share advantage was a mirage, because it was based on low tech DRAM. In fact in the 1980s the PC revolution was already beginning and although Japan dominated in consumer electronics (such as the Sony Walkman) it was never a serious competitor in the Personal Computer space, not even in the 1980s, neither hardware or software. Japan never even tried to seriously compete in the PC space.

This would eventually doom its lead in semiconductors as well. Thus, in reality Japan was never more than a marginal player in the larger technological trends of the time.

The real lesson of Japan's decline is that you cannot get too excited over dominance in one area (such as DRAM). If you are not leading in basic research and competitive in all major areas, you will eventually lose out. For China, it must not cede any areas to the US and actively compete against Google in OS as well as with Intel and AMD, as well as in biotech and aerospace fields. Winning shallow victories in narrow technologies will not hold.
hi gadgetcool5

OR BEING COMPLACENT. all major POWER NATION undergoes such decline, the way to fix it is to be more OPEN, both in criticism and willing to work with others.

China is in a CATCH-UP mode right, if it reaches its goal I'M AFRAID IT MAY SUFFER THE SAME THING. A while ago I mention that I welcome the CURRENT WEST COMPETITION with China is a good thing, the new generation of chinese will be exposes and experience hardship, and this will sharpen CHina current advantages and improve its area of weakness.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Plaza accord practically killed japanese economic expansion With Yen-dollar parity goes from 200 to 100 Japanese export good suddenly cost twice as before It practically killed many japanese exporter suddenly they are price out of market in Asia coupled with stiff competition from S Korea and China many japanese pot and pan maker went bankrupt

The demand to limit the DRAM export halt Japanese inroad in semiconductor

Forcing Japanese to open auto factory in US follow by part maker reduced high paying job in Japan

Absent of japanese participation in PC and Smart phone revolution resulting in reduced high paying jobs
 

ansy1968

Junior Member
Registered Member
Plaza accord practically killed japanese economic expansion With Yen-dollar parity goes from 200 to 100 Japanese export good suddenly cost twice as before It practically killed many japanese exporter suddenly they are price out of market in Asia coupled with stiff competition from S Korea and China many japanese pot and pan maker went bankrupt

The demand to limit the DRAM export halt Japanese inroad in semiconductor

Forcing Japanese to open auto factory in US follow by part maker reduced high paying job in Japan

Absent of japanese participation in PC and Smart phone revolution resulting in reduced high paying jobs
HI Hendrik_2000

JAPAN market and population is small and also had a insular mindset, it needs a lot of talent to complete its semiconductor supply chain and JAPANESE BUSINESS CULTURE/PRACTICES is also a big hindrance.

If Im a JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER at that time I will open up JAPAN immigration policy that will attract foreign talent and USING its export surplus to implement what CHINA is doing now, A 5 YEAR NEW HIGH TECHNOLOGY PLAN, instead of spending money on endless infastracture to win votes.
 

Canton_pop

New Member
Registered Member
Japan allowed itself to be played into US hands willing or unwillingly, they have no choice they need to rely militarily on US. Japan was in the gasps of overtaking US Economically in the 80's just like China now, US smelled blood once their no.1 crown under threat . Using accusation of IP thefts and price dumping, embargoes rained-in on Japan , tariff on their cars, electronics, semiconductor textile etc and what not was imposed, Japan never recovered from that since, 40 years on it's now china turn more at stake as it's not only the economy crown but technology and military as well, so USA is never gonna let it happened, that what we see same thing happen to China now but in a bigger magnitude . China, Japan and India under so many decades of humiliations by Western power should work together and not against each other to bring back the glory to Asia and allowed themselves to be played into the hands of western countries so that they can continue their master-of-the-world mentality.
 

ansy1968

Junior Member
Registered Member
Japan allowed itself to be played into US hands willing or unwillingly, they have no choice they need to rely militarily on US. Japan was in the gasps of overtaking US Economically in the 80's just like China now, US smelled blood once their no.1 crown under threat . Using accusation of IP thefts and price dumping, embargoes rained-in on Japan , tariff on their cars, electronics, semiconductor textile etc and what not was imposed, Japan never recovered from that since, 40 years on it's now china turn more at stake as it's not only the economy crown but technology and military as well, so USA is never gonna let it happened, that what we see same thing happen to China now but in a bigger magnitude . China, Japan and India under so many decades of humiliations by Western power should work together and not against each other to bring back the glory to Asia and allowed themselves to be played into the hands of western countries so that they can continue their master-of-the-world mentality.
Hi Canton_pop

IN a way CHINA is lucky that THE PLAZA ACCORD BETWEEN JAPAN and THE US happen, it provide a good case study of what NOT TO DO when negotiating a trade deal.

We should give a big thank you and hug to JAPAN for the sacrifice.
 

duskseeker

New Member
Registered Member
I can say from the Philippines Aviation industry, we experienced the same thing. Back in the 90s the Philippines was making their own helicopter, but it was sued by Belle and Boeing for plagiarism and now the Philippines don't have anything. Also all the mines here belong to western countries.
 

getready

Junior Member
Plaza Accord from all accounts is the big culprit and the current economic stagnation is an ongoing malaise that will cause problems for all future jpn gov
 

ansy1968

Junior Member
Registered Member
I can say from the Philippines Aviation industry, we experienced the same thing. Back in the 90s the Philippines was making their own helicopter, but it was sued by Belle and Boeing for plagiarism and now the Philippines don't have anything. Also all the mines here belong to western countries.
hi duskseeker

Glad to see my fellow countrymen here in SDF, YUP all our talent and resource is being suck dry by western countries. Do you remember PRESIDENT DUTERTE outburst during the early days of covid 19 against the US, The exportation of our MEDICAL PERSONNEL. To let our SDF MEMBER understand its so hard for us FILIPINO to get a US VISA and also it cost a lot, its extreme difficult for a medical doctor and nurses to get one. So during the EARLY DAYS OF COVID 19, the US embassy is suddenly calling up our doctors and nurses for a TEMPORARY WORKING VISA to work in the US, even the recent graduates. The pay is less than their US counterpart but still its better than their salary here in the PHIL.

WHAT I'm implying is MY PRESIDENT is angry that we school, train and harness the talent of our people ONLY to benefit other countries IN TIME OF OUR NEED. We can't blame them , they need to support their families, but we need to develop our industry to end this exploitation of our HUMAN RESOURCES.
 

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