— Latest update: March 2022 —
The materials sector is wide and diverse, as it encompasses countless other areas such as the steel industry, nanotechnology, chemistry and optical networks. Cooperation among different actors and fields in order to obtain new products and to develop the market is common. Japan invests a significant amount in materials science and has a specialised development plan for each material.
Japan’s chemical industry has traditionally been regarded as an uncompetitive, weak industry. However, in the field of high value-added, functional, chemical materials (e.g. protective films for LCDs, polarisers, compound semiconductors and carbon fibres) Japanese firms have a far larger global market share than in cars and electronic goods. Japan’s chemical sector therefore has the potential to become a leading global industry.
The chemical sector is the second largest manufacturing sector in Japan, incorporating a wide range of subsectors from pharmaceutical products to synthetic resin production.