How Did Japan Become So Big On Tech?

When you think of technological innovation, it’s quite probable that the first nation that comes to your head is Japan. As one of the most advanced countries in the world, it should come as little surprise that the Land Of The Rising Sun is a nation that rolls off the tongue. History is always an interesting topic to discuss, so how did Japan become so big on technology?

Innovation begins with education

The Japanese focus on educating students in STEM spheres for several decades now has greatly contributed to their ability to strive ahead when it comes to technology. Many Japanese universities began as technical schools which meant that, by the dawn of the computer revolution and the rise of microelectronics, several firms looking to make the move into the digital world had a readymade and highly-skilled workforce to pick from. Many now-well-known Japanese firms such as Hitachi, Sharp and Panasonic had beginnings in engineering, be it making pencils or bike lamps, but the point is that these firms could then use their expertise in later years to diversify their product output. Giants Sony were founded after the Second World War had ended but, by that point, Japan, in part thanks to the conditions that wartime brought, already had a large industrial base and several generations of engineering talent to pick from.

Through their ability to innovate inventions from other countries such as the fax machine and, most famously, cars through Toyota, the Japanese by the late seventies and early eighties had built a reputation for high-quality and innovative items. It was the Japanese who gave the world CDs through Sony in 1982 and it was also Sony who brought music to your pocket with the hugely popular Walkman. The Japanese also stormed ahead in the eighties and nineties thanks to the development of games consoles from the likes of Sony and Nintendo. Interestingly, the original idea for the PlayStation stems from a Nintendo-Sony collaboration from the late eighties, when the two firms came together to try and create a CD-ROM variant of the SNES. Nintendo abandoned Sony a day after the announcement of the project, going instead with Phillips. Out of spite, Sony developed the PlayStation as a rival – it would become the first console of any type to shift over 100 million units and has since given way to five highly successful generations.

Technology is a more global industry than ever

However, it is worth noting that as time has passed, the tech industry has become more open, with significant gains being made westwards. This is, in part, thanks to the meteoric rise of firms like Apple in Silicon Valley entering the phone market with the monumentally popular iPhone, first released in 2007. In addition, the advent of the World Wide Web and the internet has led to a truly global form of communication and innovation, characterised by developments in areas as diverse as online casinos. What started as an idea in the West has become a global pastime thanks to the rise of emerging markets such as Japan. Sites like exhibit the rising power of the Japanese in such sectors, offering eye-catching and engaging websites, as well as including recent developments like live-dealer casino games.

It’s fair to say that it’s been in the last few decades that the Japanese have cemented themselves as one of the world’s biggest players when it comes to technology. A string of successful innovations such as the Walkman and the PlayStation has led to Japan becoming a household name, and even though the West has fought back in recent years, nothing looks to be able to beat Japanese precision.