Zero Hedge (11/13/2012) has interesting charts that shows how the Japanese consumer electronics companies and the Korean counterpart (Samsung) have diverged in terms of market caps, post Lehman:
Sony, Panasonic, NEC, Sharp have been bleeding badly for years now.
Samsung, however, pales when Apple's market cap is plotted:
That once-mighty Japanese electronics companies are stagnant and declining is discernible from their homepages. They seem to be living in the late 1990 and early 2000s that will never come back.
The websites are clean, subdued, with information well organized, nothing wrong with that. But compared to Samsung and Apple, it is apparent they don't know what to sell, what to focus. Sony emphasizes its environmentally conscious activities; again nothing wrong with that, but what about products and technology? Panasonic features a dreamy-faced young woman staring vacantly into the distance. NEC emphasizes "energy", Sharp "air purifiers", and Toshiba an entire town wired with Toshiba products.
Samsung and Apple have products that people in the world want to buy (at least for now, before Ben, Mario and Shirakawa finish destroying the financial system), and that's what they feature on their websites.
(Screenshots of their Japanese homepages)
It was 1989 when Sony co-Founder and Chairman Akio Morita wrote a book with Shintaro Ishihara - "Japan That Can Say No". It was right before the collapse of the real estate bubble. Ever since, the government has been trying to reflate a bubble, any bubble.