Economic progress requires technological development, which in turn depends on a country's social capacity to acquire, assimilate, and develop new technologies. Focusing on the evolution of Japan's economy from the Meiji Restoration to the present day, this volume provides an authoritative account, firmly grounded in theoretical and empirical analysis, of the country's attempts to generate the necessary social capacity for technological innovation and absorption. Successive chapters address the specific experiences of a number of key Japanese industries during this process. Each industrial case study is written by an acknowledged expert in the field and presents material of significant interest to specialists in economic development in a form that is also accessible to the nonspecialist. The book concludes with a summary of useful lessons, variously applicable to countries at all the different stages of industrialization.