TOKYO: The Japanese electronics industry is preparing to square up to Google and other overseas web giants amid fears that internet search is dominated by US-based companies and the value of Nippon's hardware innovations steadily eroded.

A government-led project, funded to the tune of around ¥15 billion ($130m; €95m; £64m), has paired a number of leading Japanese firms to develop specific web search services.

NTT Data has been matched with Toyota's InfoTechnology Center and Mapmaster to create an interactive, personalised car navigation system.

While other partnerships involve NEC, Hitachi and Sony Computer Science Laboratories.

Says Toshihide Yahiro, from the ministry of trade: "The key to Japan's competitiveness has been our core technology but we need to create a new value-added service that is personalised."

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff