Japan is known for being the world’s third-largest economy. Moreover, it ranks second as the world’s largest developed economy despite that several devastating incidents had taken a large bite out of it and had struck the country to a great extent (i.e., the 2011 earthquake).
But aside from being an economic giant, perhaps the country is more popularly known for its highly developed, sophisticated, and world-class technology. From robots to bullet trains, Japan is the home of the largest international corporate conglomerate such as Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Nintendo, Toshiba, and many others – making it deserving for the reputation of being the world’s leader in technology.
Obviously, being on the lead did not happen overnight. Considering the many obstacles and the competitions, the competitive success of Japan, not only in technology but in all aspects as well; is the result of something that is far more interesting.
Japan takes competitiveness seriously
The Japanese people’s habits of competitive behavior are one of the many major factors that contributed to its technology as well as national advancement. As overacting as it might sound for others, the Japanese take everything seriously and consider thoroughly all their actions’ impact on the country’s productivity and strength – especially in the world market.
As stated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its annual Global Competitiveness Report, Japan is “largely driven by high-quality physical and digital infrastructure, a healthy and educated workforce and a fertile innovation ecosystem.”
The country appears to always have strategies and plans and is all the time prepared to tackle any pressing issues. Moreover, the Japanese are not simply interested only in the absolute results; but also in the process and in how you can do it better the next time. Unlike the Western culture that is task-oriented – creates goals, attain, then celebrate; the Japanese take every opportunity to reflect and learn.
Japan actively promotes Science, Technology, Research, and Development
The manufacturing competitiveness of Japan and its strategic science and technology roadmap are inextricably linked, well-coordinated, and very well-funded. That is – the county’s industries, academia, and government are in collaboration with each other to help jumpstart success in innovation and economy.
This has resulted in Japan, in the recent years, to be positioned as a leader in innovation through its discoveries, more specifically in medicine. Twenty-three Nobel Laureates, six of whom have shared honors with the United States, came from Japan. Moreover, the country ranks second, with the US holding the lead position when it comes to the twenty-first Nobel winners in the natural sciences category.
Japan has a cultural tendency to develop everything to the greatest degree
Japan, from its language to its philosophies, is also known for its ability to borrow, adapt, perfectly imitate, and further improve upon anything that comes from the foreign countries. There is something about the Japanese perspective to recreate these things at home and make them even better. In addition, a complex selection process is at work beneath accepting foreign ideas. It might have come from foreign sources, but the country has a way of making these things their own through innovation and development.
However, during the past years, it seems like Japan has been overtaken by its major rival, China. It is a well-known fact that the two countries have been competing for over a decade over issues of world war, Nanking massacre, territorial disputes, economics, and now science and technology – from the highest number of patents to the latest technology in supercomputers.
But although it has been observed that Japan’s performance has been quite stagnant, many experts still believe that Japan will very soon retain its composure and regain its title.