Fujitsu Ltd. and the Japanese unit of IT services and consulting giant Accenture Ltd. will tie up to strengthen their IT service businesses, the two companies announced Tuesday.

With this tie-up, the companies will offer IT consulting services, including system integration, management, business operation and strategic outsourcing, they said. The joint consulting services will be available to Japanese corporations that operate global businesses.

There are three areas the companies will concentrate on at the beginning of their partnership. Firstly, offering comprehensive IT consulting services to global companies that are based in Japan, secondly, electronic government systems and thirdly, providing strategic IT outsourcing that follows Japan’s corporation culture and tradition, they said.

“Japanese companies, especially in the manufacturing industry, are not good at indirect business management,” said Masakatsu Mori, country managing director of Accenture Corp. in Japan. “For example, if a company has 20 plants in Japan, each plant tends to have a personnel office. But that administration sector can be rationalized by outsourcing, using IT. This is needed in order to survive in the global market.”

Fujitsu, having been hit by the global IT slump last year, is in the course of shifting its business strategy. Like other major electronics makers in Japan, such as NEC Corp., the giant hardware vendor is now focusing more on software and system integration businesses and is already seeing results. During the last three months of 2001, the software and services sector was one of the few that was profitable at Fujitsu.

In Japan, corporations that were left behind in the race to adopt IT are starting to catch up now. According to Gartner Japan Ltd., Japan’s IT service market is expected to have grown 7.2 percent to