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Industrial, Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in South Korea and Japan

Murat A. Yülek and Hongyul Han

Designing effective industrial and science, technology and innovation (STI) policies is still an ongoing quest for both developed and developing countries. This book examines industrial as well as STI policies in East Asian countries South Korea and Japan comparatively. Japan is one of the largest industrial economies in the world. However, it is experiencing competitiveness problems with a relative fall in its manufacturing industry indicators such as exports. Korea is, on the other hand, a rapidly rising industrial power challenging larger peers including Japan. The two economies are competing in similar markets and are on different cycles of development. This book looks at the competitive positions of the two countries in the field of industrial and STI policies in general and in the sectors of railway equipment, medical equipment, aviation equipment and electronics.

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Chapter 6: STI and Industrial Policies in Japan: Medical Devices


6.1 Industry Overview

Japan regards the medical device industry as one of the locomotives for the Japanese economy, just like other manufacturing industries of advanced Japanese technologies, including automobiles and electric machineries. Promotion of medical device industries has been of high priority, as they serve directly to improve quality of life and enhance social productivity. Also, given the steady growth of world markets in medical devices, it is unsurprising the Japanese government puts high priority on this industry. Because of this priority, the industry has become a vital instrument of the Revitalization Plan of the overall Japanese economy, which is known as the “third arrow of Abenomics.”

Japan has a large and mature domestic market for medical devices, as its population is aging fast. As of 2011, the domestic marekt size of the medical device industry was as much as 2,380 trillion yen, and the average growth rate during 2001–2011 was recorded as 2.1% (Figure 6.1). Domestic production took around 66% of the domestic market (1,808 trillion yen) and 30% of total production was exported (Figure 6.2 and 6.3). The Japanese medical industry mostly consists of SMEs. SMEs with paid-in capital less than 300 million yen take around two thirds of total establishments. These exports lagged far behind imports of therapeutic apparatuses. The trade flow of diagnostic appratuses took quite an opposite direction, with exports significantly exceeding imports.29 ← 143 | 144 →

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