How Does Japan Do It Essay

1820 words - 7 pages

shows influence of social aspects on economics...needs work needs more examples...(best mark in class)Japan has performed a miracle. The country's economic performance following its crushingdefeat in World War II is nothing short of astounding. The economic expansion of Japan issecond to none. All of the elements are in place for Japan to continue increasing its shareof the world's wealth as America's gradually declines. The country is on track to becomingthe world's largest economy. How did Japan do it? There are many theories and studiesthat have traced the Japanese miracle without success. The answer to the mystery can befound by examining Japan's culture, education, and employment system. Japan's success isnot just a case of good technique and technology in business, but a real recognition anddevelopment of the necessary human skills.A better understanding of the Japanese society provides the framework tounderstanding the workings of Japanese business (and possibly the Japanese mind.) Theways of the Japanese provide a foundation for their economic adaptability in modern times.Japan is a culture where human relations and preservation of harmony are the mostimportant elements in society. 'It is their sense of identity and destiny which gives theirindustrial machine its effectiveness.'1 'Among the Japanese, there exists an instinctiverespect for institutions and government, for the rules of etiquette and service, for socialfunctions and their rituals of business. Japan is a traditionally crowded island, the peopleare forced to share the limited space with each other and to live in harmony.. The Japaneseare very protective of their culture. They are very conservative to outside intrusion. Theirdistinctive ways are a source of pride and national strength.'2 Japan's striving for purity isvery different form a North American idea of open doors and diversity as strength. Japan isrelatively closed to immigration to outside countries. However, this feeling of superioritydoes not stop them from being careful. 'This is probably because the Japanese know theireconomic house is on shaky ground, literally. Japan is eternally at nature's mercy,vulnerable to the sea that surrounds it, to earthquakes of the soil beneath it and a realshortage of raw materials, particularly food and fuel.'3 A period of extended isolationcould be disastrous to the country. Japan's trade surplus is its only generator of wealth.This is a fact of life that is preached through the media and taught constantly to Japanesethroughout their lives in school, from parents, and when they enter the working world. Themessage is clear: Japan is always vulnerable, we must protect her. 'Obsessed with nationalcharacter, the Japanese are proud and ambitious, constantly measuring themselves againstthe world's best and biggest. Accordingly, one of the main sources of Japan's strength is itspeople's willingness to sacrifice, to be regimented and homogenized, and to subordinatepersonal desires to the...

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