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In January last year, shortly after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power, the government created the Industrial Competitiveness Council to study concrete steps to strengthen Japanese industry’s international competitiveness, which has weakened in recent years.

Indeed, many Japanese manufacturers were forced to retreat from the market of fast-selling smartphones and tablets after being caught between two fires from Apple Inc. of the United States and Samsung Electronics of South Korea, and being caught up fast by their Chinese competitors.

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