What is the ‘strength’ of Japan? When asked many people say that it is ‘Manufacturing (‘Mono-zukuri’)’, ‘Technology’, or ‘Takumi no Waza (‘the Great Craftsmanship’). However, I would say that they are important, but may not be enough to create needs, capture the hearts of customers to make them open their wallets, or develop new markets. Here is where ‘The Creation of New Social Values’, in other words, exactly ‘Innovation’ of the global age is urgently needed as global competition. This is the theme which I write about frequently and repeatedly in this site as well as elsewhere. (Ref.1; in Japanese)
In addition, as Asia continues to grow, I don’t think that it is difficult or impossible for Asian people to catch up with and become competent in the skills of ‘Mono-zukuri’ or ‘Technologies’
Then, I ask you, what is the ‘weakness’ of Japan?
From my point of view it is, most of all, the drastic shift to Global World. The world has transformed from ‘Trilateral Japan, U.S.A., and Europe’ to Global Market Economy in the last 20 years. In such circumstance in the face of rapidly rising Asian economies in ever flattening world, is Japan able to build a great mid to long term vision, draft core missions with strategies, negotiate, and act?
It is also the power to understand customers and deliver them ‘stories’. (Ref.1; in Japanese) In other words, an ability to grasp the needs of the customers, to know them well, and feel as they feel (Ref.1).
Compare Japan with western countries or Asia, or Latin Americas in this growing global society. How good is our organizations – are Japanese ‘leaders’ capable of creating good strategies, make quick decisions and act? We must admit that these aspects are the ‘weaknesses’ in current Japan. You have to think why? So, let us work hard and collaborate with our partners to move forward with speed to reach our common goals.
The Asahi Shinbun sends this message out clearly in its January 8th morning edition on 1st and 3rd pages, in an article titled ‘Excellent Technologies of Japan and the Problems They Face’. My interview also appears in page 3 at the left bottom as a column. What I am saying in this column is basically the same as what I repeatedly write in my blog postings, but to have it printed in such a major newspaper makes me happy. Compared to my site, newspapers can reach incomparably broader readers.