The Sheet Metal Forming Simulation Research Group Japan, organized by the authors in September 1990 with the cooperation of Japanese car manufacturers, steel and aluminum producers and computer hardware and software companies, concluded its activities in September 1996. In this paper, the authors summarize the accomplishments of the group during the last 6 years.The paper consists of five parts. In the introduction, the historical background of FEM development is presented. Then, the situation of the Japanese automotive industry in the 1980's is described with emphasis on circumstances leading to the use of FEM in the design of stamping processes. Next, the motives behind the establishment of the Sheet Metal Forming Simulation Research Group in Japan are explained. Subsequently, the objectives and aims of the group activities are discussed. Then, examples of simulations done by members of the group. are presented. The final section is a discussion on future trends in sheet metal forming simulation in Japan.