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Japan's industrial policies do work, but urgent reforms are needed

Country's strong advanced industries cannot afford to rest

| Japan
Humanoid robot Alter on display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo in August 2016: Japan needs to become better at software and artificial intelligence.   © AP

Robert D. Atkinson is founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He is based in Washington D.C.

As the U.S. Congress hopefully finalizes a wide-ranging industrial policy legislative package, on the same order as the 1988 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act passed to address the Japanese economic challenge, a number of pundits are pointing to Japan's economic performance as evidence that industrial policy is doomed to failure.

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