Bloomberg Businessweek

The Japan That Can’t Keep Up

Long known for manufacturing savvy, more businesses in the country are lying to compete

Japanese manufacturers were once held in awe for their mastery of flexible manufacturing and a continuous improvement mantra that revolutionized business practices the world over. Even now, for example, Fanuc (page 48) remains the preeminent maker of sophisticated robots, sought by manufacturers from China to the U.S. But an increasing number of companies in China, South Korea, and elsewhere have found success emulating—and often besting—Japan’s long-established enterprises, forcing them to scramble.

The latest sign of just how desperate many Japanese companies have become to stay ahead of foreign rivals:

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