Shinkansen tops list of 100 innovative postwar technologies

JIJI

The Shinkansen bullet train system has topped the list of 100 innovative projects, technologies and products that have made a significant contribution to Japan’s economic development since World War II, according to a nonprofit organization.

Shinkansen, which came into service in 1964, was followed by instant ramen noodles, which were first mass-produced by Nissin Food Products Co. in 1958, according to the list released by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation on Wednesday.

Sony Corp.’s Walkman portable music player, launched in 1979, ranked third.

The institute made public only 38 of the items on the list, with no rankings except for the top three.

Among the 38 were manga and anime, Toto Ltd.’s Washlet toilet seat with a warm-water bidet unit, home-use video game consoles and software, hybrid vehicles and conveyor-belt sushi restaurants.

The institute plans to publish a complete list of the 100 items, with commentary and video interviews with people involved in their development, on its Web site around March of next year.

The institute chose the items on the list after conducting an online vote among the public and a survey among experts in various fields from February 2013. It also interviewed industry group representatives.