International Deployment of the Japanese Electronic Materials Industry: Cases of Electronic Display Materials Manufacturers
The Japanese chemical industry has built general chemicals factories overseas. Nevertheless, it has been reluctant to build factories that produce high-technology functional chemicals overseas, first because these factories are inseparable from R&D laboratories, second, because not all Asian countries have reached a sufficiently high level of technology to provide the necessary infrastructure and services for such factories.
However, the author takes notice that the chemical industry has recently built some factories that produce electronic display materials that are typical of high-technology functional chemicals, in Asian countries. The author first collects and analyzes cases in which chemical companies have built factories overseas and then analyzes the market structure of display materials to clarify the reasons why they do so.
First, the author has found that such deployment is a result of the increased production of electronic display in Asia, led by Korean companies. Second, the author has found a more fundamental factor underlying such deployment by observing the relation between the chemical industry and the electronics industry in this field in Japan from the viewpoint of technology. The chemical industry cannot formulate its R&D policy on its own and must depend on the electronics industry for policymaking. This is because it is not easy for the chemical industry, as a typical intermediate goods industry, to forecast which electronic display company will win the market, and which electronic display system will secure the market; liquid crystal electronic display (LCD); plasma electronic display panel (PDP); organic electroluminescence (organic EL); surface-conduction electron-emitter electronic display (SED); or electronic paper.
Key wordsFactory location Industrial organization Electronic display Liquid crystal Chemical industry
JEL ClassificationL65 O53 F23
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