Is National Technology Policy Obsolete in a Globalised World?: The Japanese Vision

Martin Fransman

in Visions of Innovation

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780198289357
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596261 | DOI:

Series: Japan Business and Economics Series

 Is National Technology Policy Obsolete in a Globalised World?: The Japanese Vision

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The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the convergence hypothesis, which argues that there has been a convergence in the economies of the major industrialized countries in the post‐World War II period. It then goes on to examine a corollary that has been derived from this hypothesis: that national technology policy has become obsolete. The globalization of the Japanese economy and science and technology system is then documented on the basis of several selected indicators, including international imitation, international strategic technology alliances, the international movement of researchers and engineers, direct foreign investment, foreign research laboratories in Japan, technology trade, and internationally co‐authored science and technology papers. The role of the Japanese government in science and technology is then considered, beginning with an account of the rationale given by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) for its involvement in the science and technology area; this is followed by a detailed account of MITI's response to globalization, which reveals the vision that guides MITI's policy‐makers in their interventions in the field of science and technology within the context of the globalizing Japanese and world economies. The implications of the Japanese response to globalization for other large Western countries are then examined and, finally, the sources of MITI's influence in the Japanese economy are analysed.

Keywords: convergence hypothesis; direct foreign investment; foreign research laboratories; globalization; industrialized countries; international imitation; international migration; Japan; Japanese economy; Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry; Japanese science and technology; national technology policy; science and technology; technology alliances; technology policy; vision; Western countries

Chapter.  11469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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