The secrets of another Japanese success story

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 2:19pm

Japanese manufacturers have practically cornered the world market on components for lithium-ion batteries, films for LCDs and other advanced materials — with almost no competition from abroad. The secrets to their success are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

C&EN Senior Correspondent Jean-François Tremblay explains in the article that the success of advanced materials manufacturers stands in sharp contrast to much of the rest of Japan's chemical industry. Lackluster financial performance has spanned almost two decades, and the traditional industry seems in a chronic state of decline.

Good profits and optimism, however, prevail for companies that make high-tech products such as carbon fibers, films for liquid-crystal displays and separators for the innards of lithium-ion batteries. The article details the reasons, citing specific illustrations from a variety of companies.

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