A Japanese view on the Japneses Crisis

In an opinion piece in NYT, Mr. Masaru Tamamoto has very thought provoking analysis of Japanese crisis. He points out that this is crisis is not what historically Japan has been, but is what Japan has become after the second World War. In his very critical analysis of current Japanese culture, or more importantly psychology, he points out that the problems are very deep rooted and can not be fixed by simple fixes. He points out that:

But what most people don’t recognize is that our crisis is not political, but psychological. After our aggression — and subsequent defeat — in World War II, safety and predictability became society’s goals. Bureaucrats rose to control the details of everyday life. We became a nation with lifetime employment, a corporate system based on stable cross-holdings of shares, and a large middle-class population in which people are equal and alike.


Since the middle of the 19th century, our economic success has relied on the availability of outside models from which to choose. Our model for social security took inspiration from Bismarck’s Germany, state planning from the Soviet Union, public works from the Tennessee Valley Authority, automobile assembly and manufacturing from Ford. Much of Japanese innovation has involved perfecting what others have created. Sony is famous for its Walkman, but it didn’t invent the tape recorder. Japan’s rise to economic greatness was basically a game of catch-up with the advanced West.

These are the words of a person who loves his country and wants to see it fixed.
The last time I saw any anlaysis remotely close to this about India was by Nani Palkiwala in his book ‘We the People’. I wish some competent person does that for India and at least puts that explicitly on paper. Or should I say in electronic media.

4 thoughts on “A Japanese view on the Japneses Crisis

  1. Gold Leaf

    Well,

    The Japanese do what all of us should be doing- turn a big problem into an opportunity. We all say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So, there you go

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