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Japan Leads World in 11 Items while Markets Slackening: Nikkei Survey 2016

By July 6, 2017 at 12:42 am

The 2016 World Share Survey by Nikkei finds Japan leading in 11 of 57 items, noticeably in such frontier fields as lithium-iron battery (Panasonic), carbon fiber, etc. The survey also shows certain markets thus far led by Japan, like digital camera, are gradually slackening.

In the area of lithium-iron, Panasonic now leads the world past Korea's Samsung SDI, thanks to the performance of US Tesla's electric vehicle (EV). A Panasonic-Tesla joint mass production took off last January in Nevada.

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Asahi Kasei stayed atop in the separator sector - the core of lithium-iron battery - thanks to its purchase of US Polypore International for $260 billion. A fast rising eco-mindedness should help boost the need for EV and in turn component industries.

Toray Industries' carbon fiber for wind power generation helped the company to keep its lead in that sector, followed by Toho Tenax and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation to dominate the top three positions for Japan.

The Kumamoto Earthquake in April last year affected Sony's Kumamoto plant but not enough to affect its lead in the CMOS (complementary metal oxide film semiconductor) sensor sector. Chinese demands for smartphone contributed to the outcome. The dual-camera feature on the backside of the smartphone also helped.

However, some markets are gradually slackening while Japan retains her lead there. The area of digital cameras is one of the cases in point - fast shrinking in the face of a growing need for smartphones.

Here, Japan's three major camera manufacturers, Canon, Nikon, and Sony, do keep a dominant share of 70% in the sector, but the market climate is not so rosy. That goes for lens-interchangeable cameras, too.

A similar situation is found in the sector of A3 laser copier, multifunctional machines, etc. - the market led Ricoh and Canon gradually slowing down.

Growing markets are fast changing due to technical innovations - AI speaker, drone, 3D printer, etc. to mention a few. (Nathan Shiga) 

Nikkei Nikkei

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