About this Site
Excellence is "Made in Japan"
This site is designed to showcase the outstanding academic research, technological innovation, and high-quality, high-performance products and services that are "Made in Japan". Japan's academic institutions and universities are among the very best in the world: students and researchers from overseas will find many excellent programs of education and research at institutes which have produced 17 Nobel Laureates in total, the highest number of Laureates of any Asian country. Similarly, Japan's companies are responsible for producing some of the very best products and services in the world, contributing to international development in diverse industries.
"Made in Japan"
Japan is a country with few natural resources, yet it has built up enough economic force to develop and maintain the world's second largest GDP for the past 40 years. The secret to this sustained economic success has been the outstanding quality of its technological capabilities and academic research.
Since the 1970s, the phrase "Made in Japan" has been an international byword for quality in manufacturing. "Brand Japan" has developed exceptional technology, which has been put to practical use in diverse fields, including textiles, iron and steel, general machinery, precision machinery, metalwork machinery, electrical devices such as televisions and radios, and transport machinery for the automobile and railways industries.
The pioneering success of "Made in Japan" can be illustrated with countless examples, but one of the most prominent is the Walkman. Developed and manufactured by Sony, the Walkman was an international smash hit, changing the way we listen to music forever. The names of Japanese companies, such as Toyota and Honda, became increasingly familiar outside of Japan.
Japan in Demand around the World
The unrivalled quality of the technology being produced by Japan was rightly acknowledged, and the trust and value placed in and on Japan's technological output soon translated into an increasingly strong economic position for Japan. At that time, however, most of Japan's companies did not have a structured international sales and expansion policy. Overseas demand for Japanese technology increased, and Japanese companies simply responded to that demand by exporting products all over the world. Of all the Japanese companies exporting during this time, only Komatsu, a manufacturer of construction and heavy machinery, and Makita, a manufacturer of electrical power tools, were able to predict the forthcoming globalization of the world economy and put in place a considered international expansion strategy.
Economic globalization continued at a progressively more rapid pace, leading to increasing numbers of Japanese companies attempting to put in place overseas expansion policies. Unfortunately, however, many such strategies were either not optimized for a global market, or too little, too late. Whether because Japan is more ethnically homogenous than other nations, or has that tendency towards exclusionary behavior sometimes seen among islanders, those strategies that were put in place were often too little, too late. This has led to a weakening of the visibility and value of the "Made in Japan" brand. But the quality, safety and high performance that first set "Japan Brand" products out from the crowd remain unchanged. Japan is still developing products that get the world excited. Recent examples include the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), the JAXA H-II Rocket, and Toray's carbon fiber materials which are being widely used in the aviation industry. This site aims to showcase these products and the many more "Made in Japan" products, technologies and innovations that are vital to world industrial and technological development today.
Laureates Leading Asia and the World
The continuing success of the "Made in Japan" brand has been supported by the outstanding achievements of academic research conducted in Japan. At 17, it has the highest number of Nobel Laureates of any country in Asia. Japan has a particularly strong reputation in theoretical physics, which can be traced back to the achievements of Hideki Yukawa.
After the end of the Pacific War, Japan was in a state of confusion and instability. It lacked the essential environmental and facilities infrastructure required for high-level experimental academic research. As a result of its impressive economic growth since that period, however, Japan has been able to build the necessary infrastructure for pioneering experimental research, including such facilities as Spring-8 and Super-Kamiokande. This has allowed outstanding academic minds, such as Nobel Laureate Masatoshi Koshiba, to establish Japan as a world-leader in the field of experimental physics too.
Looking at Japan's universities and research institutes, such as RIKEN, it should be immediately clear that the level of education being provided and research carried out is of the highest international standards; the achievements of these academic institutions are a clear testament to this fact. However, Japan's universities and research institutes remain relatively unknown outside of the country. This is despite the pioneering achievements and globally influential research being carried out, such as Professor Shinya Yamanaka's iPS cell research at Kyoto University and Professor Ken Sakamura's work on ubiquitous networking at The University of Tokyo.
This website will showcase the world-leading academic research being carried out in Japan today, as well as the environmental and facilities infrastructure that exists to support this pioneering research. The aim is to encourage talented students and researchers from around the world to become involved in the dynamic and exciting community of top-level researchers active in Japan today.
Today, Japan's economy faces a turning point. It is increasingly difficult for companies to survive as domestic businesses. Regardless of industry, companies must turn to the global market to ensure lasting growth. However, many Japanese companies continue to export their technology and products without due emphasis on their origins, without proclaiming them to be "Made in Japan". We are concerned about the potential ramifications of this. It is vital that the high-level technology and products helping to support the Japanese economy, and the academic research behind this technology, are clearly presented to the rest of world as having been "Made in Japan". This site has been developed in order to help us achieve this aim.