Three Groups of Japanese Manufacturers

Trade liberalization, which started in 1964, continued to expand with Japan becoming a country complying with Article VIII of the IMF and joining the OECD, and at the end of the 1960s, Japan was in a position were it could not really avoid complete liberalization. In 1968, Japan assumed the number two GNP position among capitalist countries, and faced even stronger demands for liberalization from the U.S., which was facing the dollar crisis due to the Nixon Shock (1971). The Japanese tried to protect the computer industry as a strategic industry, but it was difficult to go against the flow, and in April 1971, a policy of computer liberalization was decided.

To cope with this, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry embarked on a plan of grouping the 6 companies in the Japanese computer industry, and 3 groups were formed in the period from October to November: Fujitsu and Hitachi, NEC and Toshiba, and Mitsubishi Electric and Oki Electric Industry. These 3 groups each formed technical research cooperatives in March of the following year, and received a subsidy of approximately ¥57 billion in the period from 1972 to 1976. In 1974 (the year liberalization came into effect) the results were announced as the M Series, ACOS Series and COSMO Series.