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The Japanese electronics industry is one of the largest in the world, though the share of Japanese electronics companies has significantly declined from its peak due to competition from South Korea, Taiwan, China, and the United States.Japan still has a number of companies that produce television, camcorders, audio and video players, etc.
Japanese companies have been responsible for a number of important innovations, including having pioneered the transistor radio and the Walkman (Sony), the first mass-produced laptops (Toshiba), the VHS recorder (JVC), and solar cells and LCD screens (Sharp).
Major Japanese electronics companies include Akai, Brother, Canon, Casio, Citizen, Fujifilm, Fujitsu, Hitachi, JVCKenwood, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus, Panasonic, Pioneer, Ricoh, Seiko Group, Sharp, Sony, TDK, Toshiba and Yamaha.
This section appears to be slanted towards recent events.(August 2021)
Japan's foreign direct investment in the consumer electronics industry was motivated by protectionism and labor costs. After three years of voluntary export restraints, seven Japanese firms located plants in the United States by 1980.Japanese firms continued production of the most technologically advanced products especially in Japan but also the U.S., while shifting production of less-advanced products to developing countries in Southeast Asia.
Circa 1997 Japanese children had a relatively large amount of savings, with the average having about 110,000 Japanese yen (about $900 U.S. dollars) in allowances, which stimulated purchases of electronic goods like Tamagotchi.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, a number of the largest Japanese electronics companies have struggled financially and lost market share, particularly to South Korean and Taiwanese companies. Japanese companies have lost their dominant position in categories including portable media players, TVs, computers and semiconductors.Hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008 Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic, Fujitsu, Sharp, NEC, and Toshiba reported losses amounting to $17 billion. By 2009, Samsung Electronics (South Korea) operating profit was more than two times larger than the combined operating profit of nine of Japan’s largest consumer electronics companies. The relative decline has been ascribed to factors including high costs, the value of the yen and too many Japanese companies producing the same class of products, causing a duplication in research and development efforts and reducing economies of scale and pricing power. Japan's education system has also been highlighted as a possible contributing factor. The lack of adaptation to the Digital Revolution and the shift from hardware to software-oriented product development has also been cited.
One response to the challenges has been a rise in company mergers and acquisitions. JVC and Kenwood merged (forming JVCKenwood),and Renesas Technology and NEC Electronics -the semiconductors arm of NEC- to merge forming Renesas Electronics. In a similar move, in 2009 Panasonic acquired a voting stock majority of Sanyo, making the latter part of the Panasonic Group. Also some of the bigger players resorted to merging some of their operations as Hitachi, Casio and NEC, and Fujitsu and Toshiba, did with their cellphone business. On 15 November 2011, facing tough competition from Samsung and LG; Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi signed a deal to merge their LCD businesses, creating a new company called Japan Display by spring 2012.
As of 2013, most Japanese companies no longer enjoy the same reputation they did about one to two decades ago. Currently, the international electronics consumer market is a competition between Japanese, South Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, and American industries. Quite a few Japanese companies still have significant international market share. The future of the Japanese electronics industry is debated.
VESA, formally known as Video Electronics Standards Association, is an American technical standards organization for computer display standards. The organization was incorporated in California in July 1989 and has its office in San Jose. It claims a membership of over 300 companies.
Panasonic Corporation, formerly Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a major Japanese multinational electronics company, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka. It was founded by Kōnosuke Matsushita in 1918 as a lightbulb socket manufacturer. In addition to consumer electronics of which it was the world's largest maker in the late 20th century, Panasonic offers a wide range of products and services, including rechargeable batteries, automotive and avionic systems, industrial systems, as well as home renovation and construction.
The Victor Company of Japan, Limited, usually referred to as JVC or the Japan Victor Company, is a Japanese brand owned by JVCKenwood corporation. Founded in 1927, the company is best known for introducing Japan's first televisions and for developing the Video Home System (VHS) video recorder.
MSX is a standardized home computer architecture, announced by Microsoft and ASCII Corporation on June 16, 1983. It was initially conceived by Microsoft as a product for the Eastern sector, and jointly marketed by Kazuhiko Nishi, then vice-president at Microsoft and director at ASCII Corporation. Microsoft and Nishi conceived the project as an attempt to create unified standards among various home computing system manufacturers of the period, in the same fashion as the VHS standard for home video tape machines.
Renesas Electronics Corporation is a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, initially incorporated in 2002 as Renesas Technology, the consolidated entity of the semiconductor units of Hitachi and Mitsubishi excluding their dynamic random-access memory businesses, to which NEC Electronics merged in 2010, resulting in a minor change in the corporate name and logo to as it is now.
The videotape format war was a period of competition or "format war" of incompatible models of consumer-level analog video videocassette and video cassette recorders (VCR) in the late 1970s and the 1980s, mainly involving the Betamax and Video Home System (VHS) formats. VHS ultimately emerged as the preeminent format.
Kenwood Corporation was a Japanese company that designed, developed and marketed a range of car audio, hi-fi home and personal audio, professional two-way radio communications equipment, and amateur radio ("ham") equipment. Since October 2011, Kenwood survives as the brand of JVCKenwood Corporation.
DIGITALEUROPE is the European organisation that represents the digital technology industry whose members include 61 major technology companies and 37 national trade associations. It seeks to ensure industry participation in the development and implementation of EU policies" and has several working groups that focus on different aspects of policy—environment, trade, technical and regulatory and the digital economy. Based in Brussels, Belgium, DIGITALEUROPE represents over 10,000 companies with a combined annual revenue of over €3 trillion.
An integrated device manufacturer (IDM) is a semiconductor company which designs, manufactures, and sells integrated circuit (IC) products. As a classification, IDM is often used to differentiate between a company which handles semiconductor manufacturing in-house, and a fabless semiconductor company, which outsources production to a third-party. Due to the dynamic nature of the semiconductor industry, the term IDM has become less accurate than when it was coined.
Japan's major export industries include automobiles, consumer electronics, computers, semiconductors, copper, iron and steel.
CE Linux Forum, otherwise known as the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum or CELF, is a non-profit organization that works to advance Linux as an open source platform for consumer electronics (CE) devices. It has a primarily technical focus, working on specifications, implementations, conferences and testing to help Linux developers improve Linux for use in CE products.
Science and technology in Japan has developed rapidly after the Second World War, which has affected the advancement of vehicle technology, consumer electronics, robotics, medical devices, space exploration, and the film industry. Japan's focus on intensive mathematics education and the reverence for engineers in Japanese culture aids engineering talent development, which has produced advances in automotive engines, television display technology, videogames, optical clocks, and many other fields. Japan is also advanced in robotics, restaurants, and hospitals.
Yokosuka Research Park (YRP) is an area in Yokosuka City, Japan, where many of the wireless, mobile communications related companies have set up their research and development centers and joint testing facilities.
PC Open Architecture Developers' Group is a consortium of the major Japanese personal computer manufacturers. Sponsored by IBM during the 1990s, it successfully guided Japan's personal computer manufacturing companies at that time into standardising to an IBM PC-compatible and open architecture.
JVCKenwood Corporation, stylized as JVCKENWOOD, is a Japanese multinational electronics company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. It was formed from the merger of Victor Company of Japan, Ltd (JVC) and Kenwood Corporation on October 1, 2008. Upon creation, Haruo Kawahara of Kenwood was the holding company's chairman, while JVC President Kunihiko Sato was the company's president. JVCKenwood focuses on car and home electronics, wireless systems for the worldwide consumer electronics market, professional broadcast, CCTV and digital and analogue two-way radio equipment and systems.