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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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Introduction

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This book compares science, technology and innovation policies in Japan and South Korea. Both are industrialized economies; however, Japan is a stagnating power while Korea continues to rise. Moreover, they are in competition with similar export patterns. Thus, policies may be critical in explaining future performance and the course of competition. The comparison of current policies might also shed light on efforts to design policy in other countries.

The two countries have some major characteristics that are similar, such as large populations on relatively small territories with limited natural resources. They have adopted similar policies with a view to rapid industrialization and have oriented their economies towards exports. It should be noted that Korea’s emergence as a global industrial power followed that of Japan.

Background: East Asia and Waves of Industrialization

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