大阪万博では、人間洗濯機(人を丸ごと洗う未来の洗濯機)を発表し話題となっ た。



An example of a Japanese company which lost a global competition was SANYO, a consumer electronics company which had run a business for 60 years until 2012.

SANYO was founded by Toshio Iue who was a brother in law of Panasonic’s founder Konosuke Matsushita in 1947. 

The company invented a lot of unique products and technological development such as a jet stream washing machine and increased greatly.

At an Osaka international exposition, they released the “Human Washing Machine” which could wash whole body of human and got public attention. In 1986, Iue took the post of the president and decided to make the company a global leader. 

However, the company was going to be engulfed in global competitions. 

The Rise of Asian Competitors

90年代、韓国の1企業からグローバル企業に変貌を遂げたのがサムスンだっ た。




In the 1990’s, a company which undergone a dramatic transformation to a global leader from one of companies in Korea was Samsung.

Samsung developed their technical power and entered foreign markets and it was accelerated by head-hunting Japanese engineers. 

In China, Haier, later became one of the biggest consumer electronics makers, was rising.

The president of SANYO, Iue, visited Haier in 2001, but until just before the visit, he had not been aware of the existence of this maker for more than 10 years.

80’s Japan as No.1

井植敏 元 SANYO 社長



80年代の Japan as No.1 というのがね、自分では意識してなかったけども、やっぱりどこかにあたのかなという反省をものすごくさせられた。」


“I didn’t know Haier totally, but I realized that Chinese companies had grown up dramatically while we Japanese companies were off our guards. We could’ve noticed this fact much earlier. Unconsciously, the mind-set of 80’s “Japan as No.1” was staying in my heart and it made me very optimistic about the global competitions. I’m sorry about it.”

The president of SANYO, Iue

Why was SANYO unaware of the rise of Korean and Chinese competitors?

A War of Attrition

The comparison o GDP growth

三洋電機 元社員、西澤正城(なおき)さん 。当時日本企業は国内市場での戦いに明け暮れていたという。

バブル崩壊前のやはり良かった日本市場、 これがもう一回来るんだという日本市場ありきでビジネスをやっていましたよね。



SANYO was spending all days in the competition in the domestic market. We believed that the hot economy before the burst of the economic bubble would come back. Therefore, we just prioritized the domestic market and didn’t think about the global competitions. We makers were just focusing on a cost decrease and distributors also required us to reduce prices. We just repeated a war of attrition. This was the consequence after the burst of the bubble. Nobody got benefits.”

A previous employee Naoki Nishizawa