With generative artificial intelligence rapidly gaining traction around the world, Japanese firms ranging from SoftBank to Hitachi are developing or incorporating the technology into their businesses. At the same time, the government is working toward crafting a national AI strategy.

Following the public debut of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT last November, global tech giants such as California-based Google and China's Baidu have rolled out their own AI-powered chatbots, but Japanese firms have been conspicuous in their absence.

Still, the nation's companies are beginning to make their presence felt, with SoftBank’s mobile unit declaring earlier this month that it will develop a Japanese equivalent of ChatGPT.