This chapter examines telecommunications development in Japan. It discusses the general shift in Japan's approach during the 1990s towards a more liberal model of economic development. It also suggests that Japan's mobile-communications sector well illustrates the hidden complexities of competing in the Japanese market as well as the success and pitfalls of the “relationalism” underpinning the industrial structure. Japan was one of the first markets in the world to introduce mobile phone services, with NTT's automobile telephone service being launched in 1979. By the turn of the 21st century, Japan had one of the most competitive and technologically dynamic domestic telecommunication markets in the world.
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