(continued from previous page)
5 facts about Japan's economic recovery
Nothing is ever certain in the technology industry, but Japan is counting on continuing demand for consumer electronics to help the country out of an economic crisis that has lasted more than a decade. Below are five important facts that support an outlook for recovery and outline the challenges to sustaining it.
1. Three devices lead turnaround. The products cited most often in Japan's consumer electronics rebirth are digital cameras, high-definition TVs and DVD players.
2. Rivals from China to Wal-Mart. Contract manufacturers in China and Taiwan allow newcomers to offer their own electronics brands, including Sears, Westinghouse and Best Buy.
3. Next battle in camera phones. Japanese companies occupy the top five spots in sales of digital cameras, accounting for 86 percent of sales, but competition from Korean camera phones and cheaper silicon will erode the advantage.
4. $900 million for nanotechnology. Like their counterparts in the United States and Europe, Japanese manufacturers are hoping to grow their businesses by investing heavily in emerging technologies such as nanotubes.
5. Toyota, others tap alternative energy. Toyota plans to increase the production of hybrid cars by 50 percent next year because of soaring demand. Meanwhile, Panasonic and Mitsubishi are coming out with hydrogen and solar products for homes.