This article reviews the establishment process of the Japan Electronic Computer Company (JECC). Japan’s industrial policy for its domestic computer industry has been regarded as a successful example that has achieved its aims. JECC rental, along with regulations on imports and capital and subsidies for research and development, was one of the main measures of Japan’s industrial policy. The JECC was established in August 1961 based on a joint investment by seven Japanese firms to secure rental funds.
This article considers the entire period of JECC’s founding. Specifically, it focuses on the actions of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Councils, industry association, and computer makers.
First, the MITI proposed a US-Japan joint venture with peripheral equipment technology alliance (Plan 1). Next, it proposed a public-private company with integrated research, production, and sales (Plan 2). Further, it proposed a public-private company with a rental agency (Plan 3). Finally, it proposed a privately funded company with a rental agency (Plan 4).
The Industrial Rationalization Council recognized the necessity of a rental system and loan facilitation, which had an impact on MITI’s drafting of Plan 3.
The Electronics Industry Council also recognized the necessity of a rental system to promote the use of computers. The Japan Electronic Industry Development Association conducted a survey to study the demand for computers. The survey results revealed that most potential users wanted a rental system as a way to introduce computers. These facts contributed to the decision to continue the movement toward Plan 3.
Computer makers did not oppose MITI’s plans all at once. They expressed their support and full support, but they had been trying to gain freedom of sales during JECC’s establishment process.
In the final phase of this establishment process, the MOF was dissatisfied with the MITI regarding the amount and interest rate of the Japan Development Bank loan to the JECC, and rejected MITI’s request.