This article from Caixin Media was translated by WorldCrunch and is republished here with permission.
In 2011, Sony accumulated losses of $5.6 billion, Sharp lost $4.7 billion, and Panasonic $9.6 billion. The momentum of similar huge losses at these firms has continued through 2012. All these enterprises that used to be so much admired by the Chinese are plunging, one by one, into historic lows.
Of course the ups and downs of enterprises are part of the laws of nature. For instance, Kodak, once a king, is sliding toward extinction. More important are the new forces attacking the throne.
Among the four enterprises with the highest stock market capitalisation in the world, Microsoft, Apple and Google were established since the 1970s. If we use the age of a person to measure these companies, they are just in their thirties, the prime of life. Google can even be regarded as a teenage boy. The vitality they possess infuses the U.S. economy with a steady stream of power.
In contrast, Sharp and Panasonic which were founded in the second decade of last century are about to become century-old stores. Their apathy not only drags down their own businesses, but is also pulling the Japanese economy into a quagmire.
Why is it that Japan can’t give birth to a new generation of corporate giants like the United States?