Japanese companies hit by market slump are stepping up efforts to regain competitiveness


Japanese companies that are struggling to rebound from a sharp slowdown in the yen have started looking to their rivals in other countries for inspiration.

In a series of posts on its social media channels, a group of companies, led by Fujitsu Co. Ltd., a maker of high-tech printers, has encouraged their Japanese and foreign customers to look to the United States for inspiration, including a series that includes a Japanese TV show, “The Good Place,” about a couple who are drawn into a world that includes the U.S. and Japan.

The show, which aired in the U-verse market last year, has been renewed for a second season.

“The show has inspired people from all over the world, and we are going to keep it up,” said Masaharu Iwamoto, Fujitsu’s chief executive officer.

“It has inspired the American people to be more innovative, to innovate, to take risks and to embrace new technologies.”

The group also encouraged its Japanese customers to invest in companies based in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The group has more than 1.4 million members on Twitter and has more in total followers than Facebook Inc., according to data from the social network.

It has been a big beneficiary of the U.-verse boom in recent years as it has been able to tap into a growing number of Japanese customers who are looking to expand their digital presence.

The U.K.-based group is in talks with several companies, including Amazon.com Inc., to take advantage of the booming e-commerce market in the country.

A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment.

The trend toward investing in Japan has also led to more Japanese companies looking to build their online presence in the West, a trend that has been popularized by the rise of social media.

A recent survey by research firm Berenberg Group Inc. said about one-third of the companies that have opened their online businesses in Japan have moved to the U, citing the trend.

“I think Japan’s digital landscape has become more interesting for investors and companies because it’s more open and more accessible,” said Takashi Ogawa, a senior analyst at the research firm.

Japan is also looking to boost its global competitiveness by investing more in research and development, which is needed to build a digital presence in places such as Europe and South America.

The country has set up an ambitious goal of making itself a digital hub for the next five years, aiming to have half of its total workforce digitally literate by 2020.

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