Megumi KomiyaJapan's success in challenging US leadership in the world computer market has been attributed to the facilitative role of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). It has been alleged that the MITI's role in the computer industry - notably in semiconductors - has resulted in unfair advantages to Japanese companies. The MITI has often encouraged market concentration through seeking the consolidation into a few firms in a particular industry; for example, the 6 Japanese computer firms were asked in 1971 to organize themselves into 3 groups, Fujitsu-Hitachi, NEC-Toshiba, and Mitsubishi-Oki, to compete more effectively with IBM Japan. The MITI, either by design or default, has always let the private sector make final decisions. Without such flexibility, the government's policy would have destroyed the dynamics generated by the private sector. The future business scene will be very different from one in which the MITI or other trade ministries can control and decide in isolation a country's economic destiny.
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