Two Tokyo Olympics show the long arc of Japan’s tech decline

As Tokyo again prepares to host the Games this week, Japan is in a technological funk. Its heyday of setting the pace in televisions, recording devices and computers is far behind it. — Reuters

When Tokyo last hosted the Olympics, in 1964, the unveiling of a bullet train capable of the improbable speed of 210 kilometers an hour (130 mph) heralded the dawn of a high-tech era in Japan.

Within a decade and a half, innovations such as Sony Corp’s videocassette recorder, Toshiba Corp flash memory and Space Invaders, the arcade shoot-em up that revolutionised the gaming industry, made Japan synonymous with global technological superiority, and the talk was of it overtaking the US as the world’s biggest economy.

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