Before comparing developments in Japan with the rest of the world, it is important to realize that Japanese methods and approaches are largely rooted in their cultural background and psyche, as well as the socio-political and economic conditions prevalent in Japan. The use of the keiretsu system, and the ability and willingness to conduct demonstration projects on company facilities and land, enables companies to move more quickly from research to implementation. That Japan is a comparatively non-litigious society is also significant. Tax incentives related to research and development efforts, especially for large companies, enhance their commitment to the development and implementation of new technology. Also, there is a greater willingness among companies to cooperate in the research and development stage. Pre-competitive collaboration is clearly seen in the application of composites in civil infrastructure.

In this section, company organizational structure, research and development-based collaborations, and specific areas of development and future directions are reviewed.

Published: November 1998; WTEC Hyper-Librarian