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Part 1 Using Knowledge to Create Society and Economy for a New Era
Chapter 2 In the Era of Mega-Competition for Knowledge
Section 2 Innovations and Japan's Economy
2. Japan's Innovations that Led the World

(1) The Driving Force Behind Japan's Past Economic Growth

Japan has achieved high economic growth through progressive technical innovations, centering on process innovations. On the other hand, with regard to products and services which have a great impact on society and the economy (e.g. computers, software and communication devices), the majority that lead the world market originate from the West.

(2) The Limits of Conventional Innovations

In recent years, Asian countries have improved quality and productivity by introducing foreign capital and technology and with their low labor costs, have increased exports of industrial products as the base for world production, and are having a major impact on the world economy. Against this backdrop of globalization of industry, Japanese-style innovations no longer hold water. As a consequence, many companies, instead of improving and modifying transition products, are adopting corporate strategies which place value on how to create needs in customers, and create new markets.

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