Japan On Its Way To Be The Worlds Largest Economy

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Japan On Its Way To Be The World's Largest Economy

Japan has performed a miracle. The country's economic performance following its crushing defeat in World War II is nothing short of astounding.
The economic expansion of Japan is second to none. All of the elements are in place for Japan to continue increasing its share of the world's wealth as
America's gradually declines. The country is on track to becoming the world's largest economy. How did Japan do it? There are many theories and studies that have traced the Japanese miracle without success. The answer to the mystery can be found by examining Japan's culture, education, and employment system. Japan's success is not just a case of good technique and technology in business, but a real recognition and development of the necessary human skills.

A better understanding of the Japanese society provides the framework to understanding the workings of Japanese business (and possibly the Japanese mind.) The ways 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 most important elements in society. "It is their sense of identity and destiny which gives their industrial machine its effectiveness."1 "Among the Japanese, there exists an instinctive respect for institutions and government, for the rules of etiquette and service, for social functions and their rituals of business. Japan is a traditionally crowded island, the people are forced to share the limited space with each other and to live in harmony.. The Japanese are very protective of their culture. They are very conservative to outside intrusion. Their distinctive ways are a source of pride and national strength."2 Japan's striving for purity is very different form a
North American idea of open doors and diversity as strength. Japan is relatively closed to immigration to outside countries. However, this feeling of superiority does not stop them from being careful. "This is probably because the Japanese know their economic 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 real shortage of raw materials, particularly food and fuel."3 A period of extended isolation could be disast...

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...e power of the Japanese. Is it an economic slump when "in the first four years of this decade, Japanese exports soared by 32 percent, the yen rose 27 percent, and Japanese employers created 3.2 million new jobs. Japan is not crumbling, it has now surpassed the U.S. to become the world's largest manufacturing economy and is ready to claim the lion's share of the world's growth."23

Attacks on Japan's ways are countless. Obviously there are many problems with the way they run their country. Yet, no one can ignore the economic success that Japan has had. The roots of the success can be traced back to the skills developed through culture and education, and the healthy attitudes developed by the Japanese employment system. The Western world could learn much from what makes the Japanese successful in business. It is not just a case of adopting
Japanese techniques and technology but of recognizing and developing the necessary human skills. The East has borrowed heavily from the West in improving its business performance; the West could also take note of the lessons of
Japanese history and culture and consider applying them in its own organizations.

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