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Decline of entrepreneurship blamed for Japan's woes

9 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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She offers a service that stems from her diagnosis of the sickness at major companies—the loss of the innovative spirit.

While Chiaki Hayashi had previously been in the spotlight as a reporter of business news, and for some reason got a PMP -it most definitely does not make her a business expert. Working in the actual companies, year after year, and seeing the internal workings of a company is the way to gain experience to make sound judgements and give effective advice. But, it seems that Japan, Inc. can swallow the "bitter (truth) pill" from someone within their ranks easier than from an outsider.

She offers a service that stems from her diagnosis of the sickness at major companies—the loss of the innovative spirit....Top Japanese companies have a load of talented hardworking people, but they have become so obsessed with rigidity like quality control in mass production that their thinking has grown static, and they can’t figure out where to start or how to change, she said.

It is not the first time a TV personality has made an entry into mainstream business or politics without the credentials necessary for sustainable and viable application. But, if Japan, Inc. is serious about its fast approaching future, it should listen to SOMEONE.

“But I’ve never been busier, doing a ton of different things, to really give back to society, and to reinvigorate the creative spirit and become a more entrepreneurial society again because it used to be here,” said Saito.

Unfortunately, even the business schools/programs in Japan have failed to see the need to see any requirement to teach entrepreneurship as a course -elective or otherwise. Sometimes, in my experience, I have seen such courses ignite the spirit of an entrepreneur.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Entrepreneurship is the ability to look into the future, make a guess as to the right course of action, take a risk and either gain the benefits or suffer the losses. Whether it's asking out a cute girl, eating at an unfamiliar restaurant, or starting your own business, everybody to some extent must be an entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, this common human trait is trained out of Japanese from kindergarten.

The whole "Japan Inc." boom of the eighties was just a byproduct of easy money policies by their central bank. It was not based in any regard to any inherent entrepreneurialship.

It was also that Japan was producing goods for exports that no other countries were producing.

Now they've got tighter monetary policies, and steeper competition.

The decline of Japan Inc. is only in a small way related to the lack of entrepreneurs. Japan has always been lacking in entrepreneurs.

No internal tinkering or lip service to being more creative can change that. Japan has never been an innovator, and never will.

Their only hope is to remove ALL trade barriers with ALL countries and focus on building and selling whatever they can get the best price for on the global market.

They should forget about consumer electronics, as they are getting killed by the Koreans.

They should forget about farming, they just don't have the land.

Maybe they could focus on cars of trains or something. They're pretty good at building those.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

“Japan hasn’t woken up,” said Fasol.

And likely won't for another decade or two, at least. The Japan Inc. mindset is way too entrenched.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He is looking into production outside Japan, perhaps Vietnam, he said

How is his Vietnam factory going to help Japan Inc?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Being an entrepreneur requires taking a risk.Hell,starting your own eikaiwa/business involves that.But in this economic climate of doom and gloom,everybody's looking for the guarantee and without making any effort. Good luck with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

was there ever really entrepreneurship in japan. sure there have been a few.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

none that i can recall in my 11 years here.

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Hasegawa says the key to Japan’s revival lies in breakthroughs such as his that developed because of a legacy in “monozukuri,” which translates as “making things,” but is more akin to craftsmanship.

japan is a nation of craftsman. their quality and attention to detail is second to none. somebody mentioned that japan should forget about farming and consumer electronics but the fruit produced in japan is amazing. where else can you buy a peach the size of a softball that is as juicy and sweet as the ones produced here? and would anybody argue that walkman was not the forerunner of the ipod? even NASA sources parts here cause nobody else makes better. the challenge for japan is how to leverage that without losing control of the IP as the mfg costs here are too high to be price competitive but if you go overseas to mfg. you risk losing control of the IP.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Working in the actual companies, year after year, and seeing the internal workings of a company is the way to gain experience to make sound judgements and give effective advice.

That's exactly why J-companies are failing. They are doing what you do at 100%. Sure experience is useful, but without external input, these organizations lose grip of the outside world and become conservative administrations.

none that i can recall in my 11 years here.

Here in the sticks ? I can go out and walk 10 km across Osaka every morning, and each time I see new businesses that are opening with the good-luck flowers. The problem is as many are closing, They start too small. There is a lack of venture capital and of support from bigger companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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