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Index ranks Japan as Asia's most efficient innovator

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By TERESA CEROJANO

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im surprised china came so high. they just copy everybody else.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Index ranks Japan as Asia's most efficient innovator

Just shows how deceptive numbers can be. Yup, Japan has lots of universities, is urbanized as hell, and is world-class at filing patents for incremental improvements. So what?

0 ( +14 / -14 )

As a long-term resident of Japan, I've had to wait before most major innovations come here, after they've already caught on in the rest of the developed world. Cell phones, internet, email, wi-fi, mp3 players, e-commerce, smartphones, streaming net TV, etc., etc., etc.

Japan is pretty innovative with fax machines, though. There's a restaurant I know that will fax you its menu, although you need to first make a request by sending a postcard.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Just shows how deceptive numbers can be. Yup, Japan has lots of universities, is urbanized as hell, and is world-class at filing patents for incremental improvements. So what?

It goes to show that your past generalizations are worthless, for one. Second, there are several categories in which Japan lacks which can be used as a basis for improvement.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

JeffLeeSep. 13, 2014 - 09:25AM JST As a long-term resident of Japan, I've had to wait before most major innovations come here, after they've already >caught on in the rest of the developed world. Cell phones, internet, email, wi-fi, mp3 players, e-commerce, >smartphones, streaming net TV, etc., etc., etc.

I was watching HD TV in Osaka in 2003. We didn't get HD in New York City until 2007.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Osaka (2010), I was in 22nd floor izakaya. They had old, beat-up, heavy tablet with touch screen menu. No need to call wait staff, just browse through the menu and order. I was surprised to see it there because Apple had just released ipad 1st gen. looking at the condition of that tablet, it looks like they've been using it for last 2-3yrs.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

JeffLeeSEP. 13, 2014 - 09:25AM JST As a long-term resident of Japan, I've had to wait before most major innovations come here, after they've already caught on in the rest of the developed world. Cell phones, internet, email, wi-fi, mp3 players, e-commerce, smartphones, streaming net TV, etc., etc., etc.

Development in Japan is weird in that it's not pervasive or rapid. I've always thought that this was due to two major reasons. 1) Japan is full of respected old people who don't care, in Western societies even the elderly feel pressured to get the latest smartphone or gadget as a social norm. 2) Japan has to deal with frequent natural disasters. This is more anecdotal but it seems to me that one of the main reasons lots of Japanese settle for charcoal burners rather than decking out their houses with reverse cycle air-conditioning systems in their ceilings is in case their house gets knocked down by an earthquake in winter and they desperately need a source of heat. Why invest in higher tech if it's just going to get destroyed?

I find this index useful but not comprehensive. There are other real factors that are not considered like what the countries actually make, this list I don't think will count suddenly inventing feasible nuclear fusion reactors as anything more than a +1 to its numerical list. With that in mind I would've thought Japan today would rank second or third behind South Korea and Taiwan but only by a tiny margin.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The complete rankings: Japan, Finland, South Korea, United States, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Laos, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Fiji, Myanmar, Pakistan, Cambodia.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Finland is higher than South Korea. What it invented???

According to this article, Japan is top in the world. There are some none-Asian countries which are ranked. Majority is Asian countries. What happened of Germany? UK? Italy? and other European countries?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Someone is smoking grass again since Japan was the first in deploying automatic analog cellular systems in 1979. Same with 3G in 2001. The internet to commercial service came in 1991 and to individual users given individual domain address started in 1991.etc.etc.etc.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Correction: "There are other real factors that I don't think are considered..."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee, Fax machines and regular mail are most reliable in the internet age for confidential documents. J government bodies use them a lot.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I am surprised. I have the impression that US is much more efficient in innovation than Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There's a restaurant I know that will fax you its menu, although you need to first make a request by sending a postcard.

At the same time, there's also very widespread use of websites with online menus - in other words, the idea that fax is the main way to get this information would not be true, it just applies to some restaurants. When friends are planning to visit Japan, I can often just link them to the websites of places we want to try so they can look at the menu and prices.

One thing that was used here first is the QR code. It was both developed in Japan, and widely adopted in Japan, before spreading internationally. That would count as an innovation, if not outright invention (its roots in the barcode are pretty obvious; the way it is utilized is quite different). It was patented by the company that created it, but has been permitted for general use, with great success, as you can see.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A new index ranks Japan as the most efficient among Asian countries in turning the building blocks of creativity into tangible innovations that benefit their economies and people

If this is so then why is Japan's economy still in a funk......

Japan has lots of universities

Compared to where? North Korea?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Folks negging JLee are being a bit harsh I think!

Japan since the 90s has been great for making PARTS for PRODUCTS, but has become declined a lot in making actual products & then actually USING them just like JLee listed.

I used to hate people coming to Japan with Blackberrys & being able to do email & there was nothing even remotely close here in Japan.

Like many have commented on jt in the past yes Japan makes parts for the iphone but they are no longer able to come up with the phone.

I think this has led to a lot of the decline in J-electronics manufacturers, Japan has become a parts maker for a lot of stuff but no longer inventing the STUFF! That's done & made elsewhere1

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It goes to show that your past generalizations are worthless, for one. Second, there are several categories in which Japan lacks which can be used as a basis for improvement

nigelboy -- if it makes you feel good, fine. But the reality is just what I said. Sure, Japan has lots of Universities, and they just spit out thousands of thousands of grey-suited corporate drones year after year. How does that make Japan a "more efficient innovator"? Same with being urbanized. What does that have to do with innovation? Silicone Valley, where much, much more innovation comes out of every year than the whole of Japan, is not nearly as urbanized.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Sounds correct but from the list of countries at least 18 of them don't manufacture high spec goods. Many American goods are manufactured in China. Japan is a leading country for the design of many of the electronic devices.

With a population of about 127 million in Japan there are more 80 million mobile phone account. It has one of the fastest internet speeds at the lowest prices, probably only bettered by SK? Japan needs to increase its wifi coverage but since so many are now using Smartphones to access the internet probably not a problem for most.

You can get full TV coverage on the internet including on mobile devices and all the sports too.

The postal delivery systems are one of the best in the world with our post guy arriving every couple of hours. I can order from Amazon early afternoon and it arrives by lunch time the following day.

We still use the fax so it still works and just like street phones they are still everywhere even though most have a mobile phone. For quite a few years now you can use your mobile phone to pay in the stores or at the ticket barrier in rail stations. The QR codes have been used for years.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

nigelboy -- if it makes you feel good, fine. But the reality is just what I said. Sure, Japan has lots of Universities, and they just spit out thousands of thousands of grey-suited corporate drones year after year. How does that make Japan a "more efficient innovator"? Same with being urbanized. What does that have to do with innovation? Silicone Valley, where much, much more innovation comes out of every year than the whole of Japan, is not nearly as urbanized.

Not interested in your own "reality". Not interested in "I don't like the result so I'll come up with my own convenient criteria to dispute the result". Got it?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Japan is very good with cars and motor bikes. The world's No1 selling motor bike isn't a Harley Davis or a BMW.

It's the Honda Super Cub, yes, that's right. The Honda Super Cub has out sold every motor bike ever manufactured and is still bought by millions across the globe. The one used by the post guy.

They are almost indestructible. You can put veg oil in, throw them off a roof and they still work.

It comes in C100, C50, C70, C90, C100EX, C70 Passport. In continuous manufacture since 1958, with production surpassing 60 million in 2008.

It's even sold in America, the home of Hell's Angels and Harley's but you are unlikely to see a Hell's Angel riding coast-to-coast on one but just maybe that's why the American sales slogan says,

"You meet the nicest people on a Honda."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Index ranks Japan as Asia's most innovative copier!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

As a long-term resident of Japan, I've had to wait before most major innovations come here, after they've already caught on in the rest of the developed world. Cell phones, internet, email, wi-fi, mp3 players, e-commerce, smartphones, streaming net TV, etc., etc., etc.

Utterly false. Cell phones in Japan were better than anywhere else in the early days. They stupidly resisted the move to smartphones and fell behind, no doubt. But in the early days my Japanese cell phone was waaay better than anything in North America. Back in the early nineties, friends back home were amazed when they saw my phone.

Internet and email are the same thing. And Japan was not late in adopting either.

Wi-fi. You may have a point there. I don't use it so , I don't know.

mp3 players? You must be kidding. Japan had the best mp3 players in the world no contest.

The rest of your list is just repeating the same thing.

Meanwhile Japan has been a leader in green automobile technology for years. And won several Nobel prizes for advances in medical research - like the stem cell article on the top page right now. Not all innovation refers to your phone or the internet.

Just shows how deceptive numbers can be. Yup, Japan has lots of universities, is urbanized as hell, and is world-class at filing patents for incremental improvements. So what?

Pitiful. Just pitiful.

Finland is higher than South Korea. What it invented???

The question should be what has ROK ever invented. They just rip off Apple and Sony and Panasonic. Since you seem to be living in a bubble, let me tell you that Finland is one of the world's hottest tech markets. Last year they had something like 1/5 of the top 100 successful start ups in the world.

Silicone Valley

lmao

4 ( +6 / -2 )

from reputation of copycat in the past evolving into innovator of the present. that's mighty impressive!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

WiFi was invented by the CSIRO in Australia. People tend to forget Australia is part of Asia and it should be included in the Asian list.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@sakaishi:im surprised china came so high. they just copy everybody else.

That's certainly true now, but weren't the ancient culture and arts of Japan copied from China?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With yen much cheaper, Japan will be a manufacturing giant again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whoever figured this out has never spent any time in my office, the Valley of Lost Souls.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Finland is higher than South Korea. What it invented???

Linux. A free alternative to Mac (to use our OS, you must use our hardware) and Windows (this $130 OS is licensed for use on one computer). It's widely used, and unlike proprietary OSes, it doesn't come cluttered with crap. It can be argued that Linux is as much American or international as Finnish, but I'm willing to hand Finland that one, and thank them for it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not interested in your own "reality". Not interested in "I don't like the result so I'll come up with my own convenient criteria to dispute the result". Got it?

There are always various ways to interpret data.

This study using the number of universities as an indicator of creativity and innovation is flawed. If the universities teach/foster innovation, then the students will be innovative. Japanese universities don't really seem to do that though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan rocks at so many things. They really are great at improving on ideas and taking them to the next level. But efficient? Really? lol

2 ( +4 / -2 )

WiFi was invented by the CSIRO in Australia.

That's odd. In 1999, the IEEE and Wi-Fi alliance agreed the standards for 802.11b. And they called this thing Wi-Fi, tradmarked it, and came up with the logo and certification that you see on official Wi-Fi products today. How did Australia manage to invent Wi-Fi 7 years earlier than it existed?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/04/how-the-aussie-government-invented-wifi-and-sued-its-way-to-430-million/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ABD was established by the Japanese and all of its presidents have been Japanese. Its conclusions - utterly specious to the Japanese - is not surprising at all.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@wipeout: Thank you, I used OS in my table top computer many years ago and I did not know it was Finland built. I thought I got from Micro soft creation. It was years after DOS appearance. I think it was more than 40 years ago.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not interested in "I don't like the result so I'll come up with my own convenient criteria to dispute the result".

nigelboy -- but that's all this index is -- "convenient criteria" to tget the result it wanted. Got it? Just read hiding out comments:

They stupidly resisted the move to smartphones and fell behind, no doubt.

Internet and email are the same thing. And Japan was not late in adopting either

Wi-fi. You may have a point there. I don't use it so , I don't know.

"They were stupid"; "not late in adopting"; and, You may have a point there" -- some record of innovation.

mp3 players? You must be kidding. Japan had the best mp3 players in the world no contest

May be true, but unfortunately, true "innovation" was in the form of the iPod, not MP3. And, by the way, MP3 technology was invented in German and the U.S.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

With yen much cheaper, Japan will be a manufacturing giant again.

Could you share what you have been smoking with the rest of us?

You really need to do some research about the current state of "manufacturing" in Japan to understand how far off your opinion is here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not exactly copycatting. Japanese custom is that peek products and create smilar product work the same way original does. Don;t like old stories but Japanese letters of kanjis and kanas were from Chinese. Morita went USA and noticed TV amd other products, came back to Japan, changed hi telephone equipment making comapany's name to Sony. Auto and anything Japan Inc creating are remaking of other countries products. Howewver, Japan do not copy exactly, Japan Inc hasn't been sued.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tokyo Electric the precursor of Sony sold open reel tape-recorders to the US military. They were the first to develop a transitor radio which became a hit in the 50's.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Instead am suprised that japan is nott the leader in the communication area in asia it could have even been better off than apple's iphone , but i find it wierd that samsung, huawie and soon xiomi are the leading telecom giants in asia seems like Japan were relunctant somewhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samurai,

US physicists invented the transistor and the Government then gave it to Japan to help them rebuild their post war economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This study using the number of universities as an indicator of creativity and innovation is flawed. If the universities teach/foster innovation, then the students will be innovative. Japanese universities don't really seem to do that though.

Perhaps reading the actual report helps. The number happens to be on the 'input' side and if the results of 'output' does not correspond, the CPI scores reflect this.

nigelboy -- but that's all this index is -- "convenient criteria" to tget the result it wanted. Got it

Jerseyboy,

Please explain. I agree it's a criteria but not sure where you are getting the 'convenient' part.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

US physicists invented the transistor and the Government then gave it to Japan to help them rebuild their post war economy.

Government? Gave? It is well known that Sony paid a license fee for this technology, and went from there. Bell Labs puts it like this: "In April 1952, over 100 representatives from 40 companies that had paid a $25,000 patent-licensing fee came for a nine-day Transistor Technology Symposium, including a visit to Western Electric's ultramodern transistor manufacturing plant in Allentown, PA. There were participants from such electronics titans as GE and RCA, as well as from then-small firms like Texas Instruments and Sony. Published by Bell Labs and subsequently by D. Van Nostrand in a revised edition, the proceedings of the first symposium - The Transistor fondly recognized as "Ma Bell's Cookbook" - became the bible of the dynamic semiconductor industry that emerged in the 1950s."

http://www.computerhistory.org/semiconductor/timeline/1952-transistor-technology-education-and-licensing-begins.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for the info. My mistake

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually, inventions are done in USA. People tell copycatter Japan because Japanese tech companies simulate and create better products/ Then later, Japanese companies buy out these US companies. I wouldn't call Japan efficient innovator. Efficient simulator. Automakr example. Mr Toyoda was building different product than Rikisha a long gime ago at his home. When a big shot of Mitsui heard he went to see what was it. He found Mr Toyoda was creating 4 wheeled vehicles without models to copy. Mitsui decided to buy the operation and it created Mitsui Toyoda comapny for him, Later, too many sales ahd Mitsui has too many big business that it suggested Mr Toyoda created his own company and let all sales right to Mitsui. It changed name to Toyota. Too many similar cases in Japan.

See products and simulate without copying. That is secret of Japan,

These habits have nothing to do with economic up and down,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

May be true, but unfortunately, true "innovation" was in the form of the iPod, not MP3. And, by the way, MP3 technology was invented in German and the U.S.

The iPod was only successful because of the legions if iSheep raving about it, just because it was another Apple product.

Apple don't innovate. They repackage ideas and market them as new and revolutionary. They have a cult, and an unlimited supply of douchebag celebrities, like U2, to harp on about how amazing they are, even though they aren't. Anyone who thinks the iPod was innovative, either knows nothing about technology, or is fooling themselves and falling for the hype.

Sony is far more innovative than Apple.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The iPod was only successful because of the legions if iSheep raving about it, just because it was another Apple product.

If you really think that's true, you're fooling yourself. Apple didn't have anything like the legions of fanbois it has now when the ipod came out. It was the ipod that created the fanbois, not the other way around. The ipod was successful because it was an amazing product with no competition at the time. Before that, you needed to carry CDs or minidisks or some other storage. Suddenly the ipod came out, and you could put your whole music library onto a single device, and never have to switch out music anymore.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland

iPod is not the first of it's kind they only mustered in with a large wad of money to market their product.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

iPod is not the first of it's kind they only mustered in with a large wad of money to market their product.

Neither was the ipad, yet it blew everything else before it out of the water.

So what exactly is your point? That companies should not make money if someone else did it first but not as well?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actually, inventions are done in USA. People tell copycatter Japan because Japanese tech companies simulate and create better products/ Then later, Japanese companies buy out these US companies. I wouldn't call Japan efficient innovator. Efficient simulator. Automakr example.

Bad example. Automobiles were not invented in the United States. It is one of many inventions - this process continues today - that didn't just suddenly appear, but developed over time. They are rarely the product of technological advances in a single country. We can say the same of wireless and radio, cameras and photography, electricity, cinema, aircraft, television, and computers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland

It shows they are not innovator but good marketers. Follow the article at hand.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It shows they are not innovator but good marketers.

Not exactly. They made the product better than anyone else had before them - same as the ipad. Both were innovations. But you are correct, they are also good marketers.

Follow the article at hand.

You realize we're already off topic, right? The article is about Japan being Asia's most efficient innovator. We are talking about Apples and ipods.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@wipeout: bad example, you wrote. Do you know automibile ideas began in China 6,000 years ago? I wrote Toyota story because he was making automotive from his head, not copying. (He was poor and did not own a car).

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why bother to spend money on research and innovations. Just does what China did, sit back and waited for everyone else spend big on R&D and knock off their ideas and claim it as them. Just like going shopping, the only different is shopping you have to pay. Yes, I like that I may as well take that and thanks for nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It says Japan and South Korea are the most efficient in ASIA (Asian Development Bank). No surprise there, since Japan had a huge head start, and so did South Korea to a certain extent. It's not like there's much competition. It compared to the US and Finland for comparison.

A new index ranks Japan and South Korea as most efficient among Asian countries in turning the building blocks of creativity into tangible innovations that benefit industry and the public while Myanmar, Pakistan and Cambodia are least efficient.

The Asian Development Bank developed the index with the Economist Intelligence Unit to give policymakers a tool to assess how best to foster innovation and creativity in 22 Asian economies. The United States and Finland are included for comparison.

The index uses 36 indicators to measure capacity and incentives for innovation, including how many global top 500 universities a country has, the urbanization rate and spending on research and development. The number of patents filed and the number of books and films produced are among eight indicators of creative production used.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/12/index_ranks_japan_asias_most_efficient_innovator/

I'm sure nigelboy and OssanAmerica would be delighted to admit that South Korea is also at the top? LOL...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well I think Japan has one of the highest per capita patent applications in the world (far, far higher than the US), so that would have contributed very heavily to this innovation index.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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