Tokyo, concerned with Google’s global dominance and other foreign internet services, is organizing new projects that will lead Japan to the forefront in new search technologies for electronic devices.
These projects has been put into motion by comments made to say that Japan’s participation in consumer electronics has faded and value in the technology industry is moving away from hardware.
As South Korean and Taiwanese electronics companies release products nearly identical to those of the Japanese products, Tokyo fears that the country’s manufacturers are falling behind in innovation.
“The question is how Japanese companies like Sharp and Matsushita can be encouraged to provide services. They clearly have the know-how to build things,” says Toshihide Yahiro, director of the information service industry division at the ministry of trade. “The key to Japan’s competitiveness has been our core technology but we need to create a new value-added service that is personalized.”
The shift of focus away from hardware share similar objectives to some of the biggest technology companies to become stronger in software and services. One of the most recent examples is that Nokia outlined plans for an online music store, in addition to other services, last week.
Tokyo hopes to use Japan’s strength in developing devices, such as mobile phones and car navigation systems, to create suitable search and information retrieval functions. But some question whether a state-led project is capable of overhauling Google.
Project officials say that, “Seventy per cent of car navigation systems are made in Japan. There is scope for more personalization.” “There is a need for car navigation systems that are capable of searching for which bathrooms are equipped with baby-changing stations and other necessities.”
Japan is currently undergoing technology changes, in its plan to overcome Google and become the number one leader in rendering technology services and global innovation.
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