11 Top Japanese Technology Brands [As of 2024]

Birthplace of brands such as Sony and Panasonic, Japan is considered one of the world’s most innovative nations.

For much of the second half of the 20th century, Japanese tech companies dominated the world with their cutting-edge innovations and precision engineering.

But the mighty Japanese companies lost most of their sheen in the 1990s, when Japan entered into an economic recession that virtually lasted for three decades.

The leading Japanese companies are now pouring billions of dollars to become world leaders again in future technologies such as robotics, the semiconductor industry, and artificial intelligence.

Below, we have compiled a list of Japanese tech brands that are widely recognized and are at the forefront of Japan’s tech innovations.

11. Seiko Epson

Founded in 18 May 1942
Market Capitalization: $5.7 billion
Annual Revenue: $8.8 billion (¥1.33 trillion) FY 2022

Seiko Epson Corporation, or simply Epson, is a Japanese technology company and one of the leading printer brands globally.

In 2016, Epson was the fourth-largest manufacturer of printers globally, with a market share of 5.5 percent. It swelled up to 9.9 percent in 2021 while maintaining its market position.

About 67 percent of the company’s total revenue comes from its printing solutions, including industrial printing and home printing products.

EPSON revenue breakup by segmentRevenue breakup of Seiko EPSON | Image Courtesy: EPSON annual report

However, Epson is not just a printer company. It also manufactures projectors, personal computers, smart glasses, and a wide range of microdevices used in the automotive and communication industries.

Epson is also a global player in industrial robot manufacturing. It has a dedicated business segment that is responsible for the design and manufacturing of robots for factory automation. Epson mainly manufactures SCARA, Cartesian, and 6-axis industrial robots.

According to its 2022 annual report, Epson is the largest producer of SCARA robots, with a 27 percent market share globally. It also has a 6 percent market share in compact 6-axis robots.

10. Toshiba

Founded in 11 July 1875
Market Capitalization: $13.9 billion (Before delisting in December 2023)
Annual Revenue: $22.2 billion (¥3.36 trillion) FY 2022

The origin of Toshiba Corporation can be traced back to 1875 when Tanaka Hisashige founded Tanaka Seisakusho, the first-ever telegraph manufacturing company in Japan.

It was only in 1939 that modern-day Toshiba was established following a merger between Shibaura Engineering Works and Tokyo Electric.

Toshiba witnessed explosive growth in the latter half of the 20th century. The company quickly became a leading producer of air conditioners, television sets, and video recorders.

Toshiba currently offers products and services in infrastructure systems, building solutions, electronic devices, batteries, printing, and digital solutions.

The Electronic Devices and Storage Solutions segment remains its largest revenue stream, accounting for 22 percent of the company’s net revenue in 2023. It is followed by the Energy Solutions and Infrastructure segments, which each have a 19 percent revenue share.

Japan's first word processor Toshiba JW-10Japan’s first-word processor Toshiba JW-10

At the height of its prominence in the late 1980s, Toshiba emerged as Japan’s leading electronics maker and one of the largest technology companies in the world.

In 1980, Toshiba developed NAND Flash, a key component in many electronic devices, that allowed it to dominate the global PC industry for more than two decades.

Between 2001 and 2009 (with the exception of 2003 and 2004), Toshiba was the fifth-largest vendor of PC sales globally.

In 2002, Toshiba was responsible for 20.5 percent of all laptop sales in the U.K. By 2007, it had captured a significant market share in notebook computers in the U.S.

However, a bad $5.4 billion acquisition in 2006, a huge accounting scandal in 2015, and declining PC sales brought the 148-year-old technology giant to its knees. In 2023, Toshiba was acquired by a consortium of companies led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners for $14 billion.

Nonetheless, Toshiba remains one of the most recognized tech brands in the world.

9. Nikon

Nikon f - first SLR in lunar orbit

A NASA-modified Nikon F, the first SLR camera in lunar orbit | Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 25 July 1917
Market Capitalization: $3.7 billion
Annual Revenue: $4.1 billion (¥628 billion) FY 2022

This iconic Japanese brand needs no introduction. Founded in 1917, Nikon has been a pioneer in the camera and optics industry and is among the largest manufacturers of digital cameras, lenses, and scopes globally.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, Nikon cameras were the first choice among professional photographers. However, with the introduction of the EOS autofocus system in 1987, Cannon was able to challenge Nikon’s dominance in 35mm cameras.

Nikon again showed its technological prowess with the launch of the world’s first practical DSLR (Nikon D1) in 1999.

But with the rapidly shrinking global camera industry, Nikon is shifting its focus towards other busines segments. 

As of December 2023, Nikon is the third-largest manufacturer of digital cameras, with a market share of 11.7 percent, behind Canon (46.5 percent) and Sony (26.1 percent).

The company has five business domains –

  • Imaging Products – Digital cameras, binoculars, and telescopes.
  • Precision Equipments – FPD (Flat Panel Display) lithography, semiconductor lithography
  • Healthcare – Microscopes and optics, retinal imaging systems, and contract manufacturing of cell therapy products.
  • Components –  Optical components, actuators and encoders (motion feedback devices used in robotics), and photomask (glass) substrates.
  • Digital Manufacturing – Industrial inspection systems (X-ray and CT), meteorological instruments, and advanced measuring systems.

About one-third, or 33 percent, of the company’s total revenue comes from Imaging Products. However, the largest share of its revenue comes from the Precision Equipment business, at 39.1 percent.

Healthcare, Components, and Digital Manufacturing business segments contribute 13.6 percent, 7.6 percent, and 6.7 percent, respectively.

8. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Mitsubishi Electric CanadaA Mitsubishi Electric sales office in Canada | Image Courtesy: Raysonho

Founded in 15 January 1921
Market Capitalization: $35.4 billion
Annual Revenue: $33 billion (¥5 trillion) FY 2023

Mitsubishi Electric (MELCO) is a major group company of Japan’s largest conglomerate Mitsubishi.

It was established in 1921 to expand the group’s business into the home appliances and electrical machinery industry. The company’s first product was electric fans.

Over the years, MELCO diversified into various other domains and specialized sectors to become a major electronics and electrical equipment manufacturer globally.

Mitsubishi Electric offers a vast range of products under multiple business divisions. They are –

  • Home appliances
  • Air conditioning systems – including industrial solutions
  • Automotive equipments – powertrain and ADAS products
  • Building systems – Elevators
  • Public utility systems – Power backup systems and water treatment systems
  • Defense and Space Systems – Radars, communication modules/ satellite components, and ground systems.
  • Semiconductors and products

In the financial year 2023, MELCO’s total revenue stood at about 5 trillion yen. Its home appliances and air conditioning segment accounted for 1.36 trillion yen ($8.9 billion) alone.

They are followed by factory automation with 843 billion yen and automotive equipment with 816 billion yen business segments.

Mitsubishi Electric is also one of the leading companies in research spending. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) report, Mitsubishi Electric published the fourth most patent applications (2,320) in 2022.

In 2023, the company spent 212.3 billion yen ($1.4 billion) on R&D.

7. FANUC Corporation

FANUCFANUC ROBOT products

Founded in 1972
Market Capitalization: $26.4 billion
Annual Revenue: $5.6 billion (¥852 billion) FY 2023

FANUC, short for Fuji Automatic Numerical Control, is one of the world’s most popular brands in factory automation.

The company offers a range of automation products, including robotics and CNC (numerical control) systems.

FANUC manufactures automation products under three core business units –

  • Factory Automation (FA) – Include CNC controllers, Servo Motors, amplifiers, and LASER oscillators
  • ROBOT Products – Articulated and Delta robots, sensors, and other intelligent features.
  • ROBOMACHINE Products – Compact machine center and precision machines.

FUNEC has also developed a robot simulation software – ROBOGUIDE, that allows clients to design and simulate robotic workflow in 3D.

In the financial year 2022, the company reported a total revenue of $5.6 billion (852 billion yen), of which 375 billion yen, or 41.9 percent, came from its ROBOT business.

The Factory Automation business accounted for 29.4 percent, and the ROBOMACHINE segment for 15.6 percent. The remaining 13.1 percent of the company’s revenue is from its global services.

FANUC was initially established as a subsidary of Fujitsu in 1958. After successful initial years, the company demerged from its parent and became independent in 1972.

By 2016, the company’s total CNC units installed reached 3.6 million, and it sold close to 500,000 ROBOT products globally.

Today, FANUC is the largest producer of CNC controls, with a market share of 65 percent. It has over 240 joint venture subsidiaries worldwide.

6. NEC Corporation

NEC system center in Kobe, JapanNEC system center in Kobe, Japan

Founded in July 1899
Market Capitalization: $20 billion
Annual Revenue: $21.8 billion (¥3.3 trillion) FY 2022

NEC Corporation (Nippon Electric Company) is one of Japan’s most iconic technology and electronics manufacturing companies.

The origin of NEC can be traced back to 1898 when it was founded as a telephone manufacturing company by Kunihiko Iwadare and Takeshiro Maeda.

A year later, in 1899, the company was restructured to become a joint venture with an American engineering firm, Western Electric. It was the first such company in Japan.

NEC entered the tech and IT services industry in the mid-1950s. In 1958, the company introduced Japan’s first domestically produced transistor-based computer, the NEAC-2201. Some of its other notable accomplishments include – 

  • Syncom 3 satellite’s entire communication system enabled the first-ever satellite broadcast of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
  • Design and manufacturing of HAYABUSA asteroid probe.
  • Discovery of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT).
  • Built the Earth Simulator, the world’s fastest supercomputer, in 2002 with a LINPACK benchmark of 35.86 TFLOPS.

Today, NEC conducts its business operations under two main verticals: IT Services, which include cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) platform, software services, and consulting; and Social Infrastructure, offering telecommunication and network solutions to telecom operators.

It also offers ICT solutions to the aerospace and defense industry.

The company is a major player in the telecommunication industry offering advanced tech and infrastructure to telecom operators globally. NEC is currently the world’s fifth-largest provider of network service infrastructure with a market share of 4.5 percent.

In FY 2022, NEC Corporation reported a total revenue of 3.3 trillion yen, or $21.8 billion. About 53 percent of this revenue came from IT services alone, and 32 percent from infrastructure segment. The remaining 15 percent is accounted for by NEC’s healthcare and life sciences offerings.

NEC Corp. was ranked 432nd in the 2021 list of Fortune Global 500 companies. However, it has dropped out of the rankings since then.

5. Fujitsu

Founded in 20 June 1935
Market Capitalization: $31.7 billion
Annual Revenue: $24 billion (¥3.7 trillion) FY 2022

Major Shareholders: GIC Private Limited (3.47%), Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Company (1.87%).

Fujitsu is a Japanese multinational technology company that offers a wide range of products and services to clients across the globe. It was founded in 1935 and is one of the world’s oldest tech brands, alongside IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Fujitsu has four main business segments – Service Solutions, Hardware Solutions, Device Solutions, and PC offerings.

The Service Solutions segment (which includes consulting services, cloud, software support, BPOs, IT, and managed services) accounts for more than 50 percent of Fujitsu’s annual sales. A large portion of this revenue comes from domestic clients.

In 2022, Fujitsu made 1.2 trillion yen in revenues from domestic IT services, the most among Japanese IT service providers.

Fujitsu’s Hardware Solutions, which is the second largest in terms of revenue, offers server and network-related products such as mainframe servers, storage systems, IP network equipment, and mobile systems.

In 2020, Fujitsu alongside RIKEN research institute developed Fugaku supercomputer. It is currently the second fastest supercomputer a theoretical peak performance of 537 petaFLOPs.

Fujitsu financialsImage Courtesy: Fujitsu Integrated Annual Report

Did You know? In 1954, Fujitsu built Japan’s first computer – the FACOM 100 mainframe. 

4. Canon

Founded in 10 August 1937
Market Capitalization: $29.3 billion
Annual Revenue: $27.6 billion (¥4.181 trillion) 

Canon is a global leader in digital camera manufacturing, with a staggering 43.6 percent market share as of December 2023. It is also the second-largest vendor of printers globally after HP.

While Canon Inc. is widely popular for its cameras and other photography equipment, the company actually manufactures a wide range of products that are used in various advanced industries.

Canon Business Segments

Canon conducts its business operations through four business segments or ‘groups.’ These are –

  • Printing Group – Products include large-format printers, laser and inkjet printers, calculators, digital feed presses, image scanners and office multifunction printers.
  • Imaging Group – Digital cameras, projectors, camcorders, video management and analytics software, and network or IP cameras.
  • Medical Group – Computed tomography (CT), X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI systems, and ophthalmic equipment.
  • Industrial Group – Semiconductor lithography equipment, die bonder machine, and display manufacturing equipment.

In 2023, Canon reported a total revenue of 4.18 trillion yen, compared to 4 trillion yen in the previous year. The company has slightly concentrated revenue, with 56.1 percent coming from the printing business.

The imaging business is responsible for 20.6 percent or $5.8 billion.

3. Panasonic

Panasonic product universe

Founded in 7 March 1918
Market Capitalization: $21 billion
Annual Revenue: ¥8.4 trillion

Panasonic is a global technology brand that manufactures consumer electronics, industrial equipment, in-flight entertainment systems, and rechargeable batteries.

It is the sixth-largest consumer electronics company, with $62 billion in sales in 2023, and the fourth-largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer globally, with a 6.4 percent market share.

The origin of Panasonic Corporation can be traced back to 1918 when it was founded as Matsushita Electric by Kōnosuke Matsushita.

The company initially produced battery-powered lamps for bicycles but later introduced electrical appliances such as light bulbs and marketed them under the ‘National’ brand.

Panasonic is one of the most innovative companies in the world, spending a significant amount of its revenues on R&D over the years.  According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the total number of published PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications by Panasonic stood at 1,776, the 10th most in the world, in 2022. 

Panasonic’s business operations are divided into four main divisions – 

  • Panasonic Automotive – Produce audio equipment, navigation systems, safety, and charging modules for automakers. The automotive segment is responsible for about 15 percent of Panasonic Group’s annual sales ($8.7 billion). 
  • Industrial Solutions – Manufacture batteries, heavy appliances (compressors and motors), capacitors, sensors, electronic materials.
  • Connected Solutions – Displays, in-flight entertainment systems, Toughbook (rugged laptops), automated production machines. Panasonic Connect was one of the first businesses to adopt an AI assistant 
  • Life Solutions – Consumer appliances and solar modules. It also includes a real estate subsidiary that makes custom-built houses and commercial buildings for clients.

Panasonic Group sales compositionImage Courtesy: Panasonic Holding Corp. Integrated Report

Did you know? SANYO Electric, a Japanese consumer electronic brand that is now a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, was founded in 1947 by Matsushita’s brother-in-law, Toshio Iue.

By the 1980s, Sanyo emerged as a powerhouse in the consumer electronics industry, selling televisions, audio equipment, cellular phones, and personal computers (Sanyo MBC-550) in Japan and North America.

It also manufactured rechargeable batteries for automakers, including Suzuki, Honda, and Ford.

2. Hitachi

British Rail Class 395 by Hitachi RailBritish Rail’s Class 395 EMU built by Hitachi Rail based on Japan’s Shinkansen technology

Founded in: 1910
Market Capitalization: $79.8 billion
Annual Revenue: $50 billion (¥7.6 trillion) FY 2022

Major Shareholders: Government of Norway (2.69%), State Street Bank & Trust (2.56%) and Nippon Life Insurance Company (2.16%).

Hitachi is undoubtedly one of the most recognized Japanese technology brands in the world. Its products range from consumer electronics and auto parts to supercomputers, rolling stock (railway), and nuclear power systems.

Founded in 1910 by Namihei Odaira, Hitachi played a pivotal role in several innovative technological advancements in Japan.

Hitachi helped develop Japan’s iconic Shinkansen high-speed railway network pioneering its first generation of trainsets called ‘0 series’ in the 1960s. It also took part in developing Shinkansen traffic management systems including Computer-Aided Traffic Control System (COMTRAC) and SIRIUS.

In 1978, Hitachi introduced the CMOS (Twin-Well Hi-Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) fabrication process, which allowed it to produce far more efficient chips than Intel’s 2147 HMOS but with similar performance.

The CMOS process quickly became the standard semiconductor manufacturing process for computers in the 1980s, and it is still used in various modern devices.

Hitachi’s current business activities can be grouped into three broad segments – 

  • Digital Systems and Services – Financial solutions, cloud services. Also include Lumada for digital transformation (DX). 
  • Green Energy and Mobility – Nuclear energy business, power plants, railway systems.
  • Connective Industries – Infrastructure solutions (elevators), life solutions, and industrial products and equipment.

In the financial year 2022, the company generated 58 percent of its total revenue of 7.6 trillion yen from global operations, while domestic business accounted for 42 percent.

Outside Japan, Hitachi’s biggest market is China, responsible for about 13 percent of its total revenue.

1. Sony

Founded in 7 May 1946
Market Capitalization: $107.96 billion
Annual Revenue: $77.4 billion (¥11.5 trillion) FY2022

Major Shareholders: GIC Private Limited (1.5%), BlackRock Investment Management

The electronics and services behemoth Sony was initially founded as a radio repair shop in Tokyo by Masaru Ibaka in 1946.

Later that year, on 7 May, Ibaka was joined by Akio Morita, with financial backing from his father, to establish ‘Tokyo Telecommunication Engineering Corporation’ the predecessor of Sony Corporation. The company changed its name to Sony in 1958.

Sony operates numerous business units in multiple industries, including media and entertainment, gaming, imaging, electronics, and financial services.

At its peak, Sony was also involved in businesses such as private insurance, chemical manufacturing, cosmetics, and home shopping. Due to its involvement in widely diverse businesses, Sony was often referred to as a ‘Corporate Octopus.’

Sony Business Segments

In terms of revenue, Sony’s largest and most profitable business unit is Game and Network Services (Sony Interactive Entertainment). In the financial year 2022, it earned 3.6 trillion yen (about $23 billion) in revenues.

Under this unit, Sony markets its PlayStation consoles and related software. PlayStation is probably one of the first things that comes to our mind when we talk about Sony or gaming. Below are some impressive statistics about Sony PlayStation.

As of February 2024, Sony has sold 618.2 million PlayStation consoles since its launch in 1994. [Statista]

PlayStation 2, which was launched in the year 2000, is the best-selling video game console with a lifetime sales of 158.7 million units.

Despite the pandemic and supply issues, Sony sold 7.8 million units of PlayStation 5 in 2020, achieving the highest launch year sales of any PlayStation console.

In 2023, PS5 sales grew by 65 percent to $21.78 million and outsold Microsoft’s Xbox by a wide margin ($7.5 million).

After Game and Network, the highest percentage of revenue for Sony comes from Entertainment, Technology & Services, which include its consumer electronics, camera, and healthcare products. 

As it stands, Sony is the fifth-largest company in Japan by market cap and one of the ten-largest by annual revenue.

Did You Know? Sony’s TR-63 was the world’s smallest transistor radio at the time of its launch in 1957. It became so popular outside Japan, especially in the U.S. market, that the company sold 7 million units worldwide by the 1960s.

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Written by
Bipro Das

I am a content writer and researcher with over seven years of experience covering all gaming and anime topics. I also have a keen interest in the retail sector and often write about the business models/strategies of popular brands.

I started content writing after completing my graduation. After writing tech-related things and other long-form content for 2-3 years, I found my calling with games and anime. Now, I get to find new games and write features and previews.

When not writing for RankRed, I usually prefer reading investing books or immersing myself in Europa Universalis 4. But I am currently interested in some new JRPGs as well.

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