From Keiretsu to Startups: Japan's Push for High Tech Entrepreneurship

How much does it matter that Japan creates relatively few new high technology companies? Many observers estimate, or at least assume, that entrepreneurial dynamism and its associated innovations promote economic growth and in the long run are necessary for it. In recent years there has been much attention devoted to fostering such new firms in many countries, including Japan, with much of this interest derived from the example of Silicon Valley. Before the 1990s, after several decades of excellent performance by the Japanese industry, any observer noting that it had few new high tech companies would probably have met with indifference. Success spoke for itself. Now, after an economic plateau lasting over a decade, questions about the late and relatively small-scale emergence of high tech startups have become increasingly salient.