Establishment of Japan Software (joint investment by NEC, Hitachi, and Fujitsu)

Japan Software was a company established in October 1966 with the aim of developing operating system software. Hitachi, NEC, and Fujitsu invested equal amounts into the company, and the Industrial Bank of Japan assisted the company’s formation. The company was established around the time the Ministry of International Trade and Industry(MITI) was striving to develop an ultra-high-performance computer that would outperform the IBM System/360 by 1971, as part of a large, five-year project by the Electrotechnical Laboratory.

The MITI had hopes that the three companies would develop a common operating system compatible among all their computers. In the end, a common ground could not be found, so the Ministry divvied up the development, outsourcing the common software components to Japan Software and the machine-specific software components to Hitachi, NEC, and Fujitsu. Not surprisingly, the common software components Japan Software developed never saw the light of day. The company fell into financial difficulties with the end of the government contract and was dissolved in December 1972.