Customers shopping for TVs, refrigerators, microwave ovens and other electrical appliances are increasingly likely to come across brand names Galanz, Haier, LG and Samsung, which feature stylish designs and low prices that undercut those of their Japanese rivals.

Chinese and South Korean consumer electronics brands used to be considered cheap and inferior in quality, but not anymore.

Following a trajectory similar to that of Japanese firms decades before, East Asian manufacturers have increased their global presence in recent years as the quality of their products improved. And now one of their major target markets is Japan, which has long been dominated by domestic giants like Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp.