The Japanese “national innovation system” has attracted the attention of both scholars (e.g. Nelson 1984; Freeman 1987; Odagiri and Goto 1993) and policy makers (e.g. OTA 1984; Holdridge 1994) for a number of reasons. First of all, since Japan was forced to open its economy to the outside world in the 1850s, and the Meiji government introduced a new political system in 1868, Japanese policy makers have strongly believed that Japan’s national security, indeed its national survival, was highly dependent on technology. If anything, this belief was reinforced by Japan’s defeat in the Second World War. As a consequence, perhaps more than any other country, Japan has made consistent top-down efforts explicitly to develop a national innovation system. While similar efforts have sporadically been made in Europe and the United States, in Japan they persisted, often with the same policy makers in charge, through war, peace, economic crisis, and changes in government for well over a century (Johnson 1982; Samuels 1994).