A collaboration between the Japanese government, high-tech companies and universities have announced that it plans to develop and launch its own Internet search engine, having been inspired by the success of Google.

A source close to the development said: "Information searches have become a source of wealth. We want to consider what Japanese companies can do in the current situation where overseas forces are dominant."

Companies meeting this month with some universities include NEC, Fujitsue, Hitachi and Matsushita Electric Industrial, as well as telecommunication firms and one local, public broadcaster. Development will begin in April, 2007.