From the BBC:
Sony makes far more money today out of selling life insurance than it does out of making electronics. Panasonic and Sharp have less to fall back on.
From the above link:
Japan's electronic giants once ruled the world. Sony, Panasonic, Sharp were household names. Now those same companies are in deep trouble, losing billions of dollars a year.
According to Tokyo-based economist Gerhard Fasol, the Japanese giants were overtaken by the digital revolution.
The Japanese giants, he says, actually built their empires on making complex electrical machines - colour televisions, radios, cassette players, refrigerators, washing machines.
Yes, they contained electronic components, but they were basically mechanical devices.
But then came the digital revolution, and the world changed.
..."So it's hard to become rich today on the scale of a Panasonic just by manufacturing - you have to do a lot more."