Japan started its modern rise in industrial prowess through its building of high-tech industries: particularly consumer electronic and automobiles. Japan's electronics manufacturing often implemented what was discussed and researched in the U.S. The Japanese made key contributions in the areas of microminiaturization, automation and quality control. Despite Japan's current fiscal and economic problems, in many areas corporate Japan has continued to excel. For example, according to The Report, the MIT Japan Program newsletter, Japan's home electronics manufacturers continue to record profits, and their market share in global markets has not changed.1
Manufacturing industries in Japan reached their highest output in 1989, just before its economic bubble burst. However, as the figures below show, much of that manufacturing capacity continues to be productive. As of this writing (1997), manufacturing industries are within 10.6% of their 1989 output (Table 1.1).
Employment has increased 3.8% on the average for all Japanese industries, and only showed a 4% drop in manufacturing industries between the peak in 1990 and 1996 (Table 1.2).