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The Rise & Fall Of The Japanese Semiconductor Industry, 1970 – 2000

1831 words - 7 pages

The Rise & Fall of the Japanese Semiconductor Industry, 1970 – 2000


The semiconductor was the created with the innovation of transistor by
Bell Corporation. The industry was driven by the of great US
electronic giants such as general Electronic, Texas Instruments and
others. These US giants conquered most of the world market sharers.
However in the ever-changing world economy the market always moves
here to there. Nothing was different in the case of semiconductor
industry. With the span of time US gradually lost control of the
semiconductor market shares and Japan captured the industry.
Nevertheless, it was only a matter of period to misplace the market
share of semiconductor business by Japan. The time frame of
semiconductor business started immediately after WWII and running even

In a way the changes took place and how the shape of distribution of
market has been changed was grounded by all time great market and
economic mechanisms. Some argues those government policies and
economic mechanisms in an optimistic viewpoint some obviously in sees
in pessimistic view. However, this is known to all that the policies
that have been part of the cause have made those countries the world’s
leader in electronic production as well as the economic super power of
the planet.

Although US is the originator and architect of the semiconductor
technology, especially was outstanding in DRAM (Digital random Access
Memory) assembly, US actually struggled to stay in the competition in
long run because of the excellent Japanese policy about the foreign
direct investment in Japan. Many may argue with various benefits of
green field investment that it is good for the host country but Japan
never encouraged Greenfield investment by US or by any other countries
especially in semiconductor industry. Forget about the encouragement,
Japan had a great barrier and restrictions on this semiconductor
industry. The policy of Japanese government, Ministry of International
Trade and Industry (MITI), deliberately made US firms to go for joint
adventure with the Japanese companies. Initially US firms were making
profit but with the help of Japanese government policy Japanese firms
took over 80% of global market share of chip making business
especially semiconductor industry where US was the innovator of the

Afterward tremendous pressure from US Govt. made Japanese Govt. to
come in an agreement about ‘Fair Market Value’ and ‘Market Share’,
which gradually made US corporations to grab back the market shares to
compete with Japanese firms. However, it was not the end. It’s not
like that Japan or US are only global leaders in chip making, As
Japanese currency has strengthen Japan has lost more market shares to
other countries like South Korea and Taiwan especially to the giant
electronic manufacturer Samsung. With the decreasing rate of market
share from 80 percent of global market share, now Japan now consist

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