politics

Abe says he wants Japan to learn from Silicon Valley

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By MARTHA MENDOZA

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Nothing will ever change. Japan will never have it's own Silicon Valley because:

In Silicon Valley, young talent is sought after. Young people are encouraged to think outside the box Companies are forced to think outside the box to innovate Archaic corporate structure hinders innovation Japan is a patriarchal society - old boys club word is gospel Gender equality (while it still has a ways to go) is progressive Silicon Valley has willing investors - A LOT of them. Productivity is a MUST - as opposed of total hours worked

I could easily make it to 100 on this list.

25 ( +35 / -10 )

Damn sighclops! Amen! That was so spot on! I'd like to add that Abe wants the success of Silicon Valley. He doesn't want to learn from it and he doesn't want to do what you mentioned!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Tell it sighclops !!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Back in the mid-late 90s, I suggested to the board of education to help fund Internet connections to the computer labs at the schools that I taught at and to create school web pages and one for the town. All I got from the board of education and the local school heads was a lot of teeth sucking and "muzukashii desu ne"s.

They missed the boat when the boat was docked right in front of them.

The situation hasn't changed much since then. It's been all reactionary rather than proactive when it comes to IT, software, and application innovations.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

"Abe says he wants Japan to learn from Silicon Valley"

This is what Japan should have done... 20 years ago! If only Japan was not ruled by old crocks like him.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Well put, @sighclops

It's not all doom and gloom, however. A lot of Japan Inc.'s old boys are mere caretakers of entities bootstrapped by renegades last century.

If we need to trawl the past to inspire future creativity, then why not? The technology may be totally different, but the spirit is the same.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@sighclops Many thumbs up to you.

There is the right way and the Japanese way.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If Abe were serious, one thing he could do is make sure that the major cell companies follow up with allowing consumers to sim unlock their phones here in Japan. Doesn't need to go to Silicon valley to find out innovative ways, just look at any cell phone seller web page of unlocked phones, and then compare it with consumers in Japan being forced to only accept what au, docomo, and softbank have to offer, and how the same phone in Japan is lagging behind in the latest updates due to carrier restrictions.

I have always said that Japan could be said to be "moving slow in the fast lane" in regards to managing business innovation on the mass consumer level.

Lip service and token visits are one thing, following through with relatively simple steps that have an immediate impact would be a lasting impression.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"This Japanese administration has been focusing on changing its economy to a growth-based system built on innovation,” said Japanese economic researcher Takeo Hoshi, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. “This is probably the best place in the world to look at that.”

An economic researcher should get facts correct. The current Japanese government isn't making much of a move to a growth based system. Abenomics is a roundabout way of maintaining the status quo: corporate welfare, big government, higher taxes, over-regulation, and runaway deficit spending.

Hopefully, this visit will get PM Abe and his government to change course, and start liberalizing the economy, cutting taxes, and openning the Japanese market up more to trade. Encouraging young people to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, investment, and self employment would deliver economic benefits in the long term.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

During a speech at Stanford, Abe said Japan needs to emulate Silicon Valley style, risk and innovation.

Ironic on a day when Sony announced another annual loss -- of well over $1.0 billion. Japan is too far behind the curve to "emulate" a culture of "risk and innovation", as it has produced at least two generations of corporate "leaders" who have been trained to not take risk, and get ahead by doing nothing other than not making waves. That is why Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. are all dominating the Japanese market.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@Speed

I feel with you. After trying to establish partnership, friendship and exchange programs for more than 20 years and always receiving the same answers like: can't be done, it's difficult, let us think, and so on I am almost ready to give up.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If Abe were serious, one thing he could do is make sure that the major cell companies follow up with allowing consumers to sim unlock their phones here in Japan.

It becomes law later this month that companies have to unlock your phones if you ask them to.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just to highlight my point further - OK Abe plans to visit Tesla.

Now, Elon Musk is the most brilliant entrepreneur of our generation. No doubt the next Steve Jobs & beyond. He's still young, a billionaire and puts all his cash into new ventures.

The money he made from the sale of Pay Pal funded his Space X startup. The stuff they're developing is mind-boggling. The money from commercialising the space business goes into starting Tesla, which has really shaken up the electric car industry. There's no one else like them. 10 years ago, it wasn't even on the table! The profitability from Tesla is going into his next Hyperloop project, which (theoretically) would see a train-like system capable of speeds up to 6000km/h.

Even if none of that ever happens, it's the fact that he has the foresight. He's a true visionary. I ask - where are Japan's young, cashed up visionaries? Credit where credit is due, Son-san is at least trying to make waves in an otherwise stagnant & directionless economy.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yet even though Japan does not have a silicon valley it is one of the leaders in technological and industrial technologies. A leader in robot engineering and medical application devices. Aerospace engineering and solar lense crafting, maglev technology and has the only forge on the planet capable of building the largest nuclear containment reactors. Sounds like they are doing pretty good for themselves.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Perhaps the issue isn't environmental or cultural, and both of these were developed as byproducts of genetics. If this is the case, many of you are blaming the 'wrong thing'.

Has anyone done a study on Japanese/East Asian IQ Standard Deviation? I would love to see how it compares with European IQ Standard Deviation. The western economies are driven by the productivity of geniuses, not the average person. I remember destroying all my East Asian peers in my Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra classes despite working/studying far less than they did. Effort can never substitute raw brain power. Just ask Bill Gates - He's obsessed with IQ and thinks it's far more important than effort. Why? What takes someone with an average IQ hours to understand, a person with a high IQ can understand that same thing in minutes while also coming up with an extension of his own.

East Asian countries need to revamp their broken educational system. Perhaps the geniuses of East Asia are being held back by the grading system there while the mediocre minds with good work ethic are rising to the top by memorizing the entire textbook. God knows I was a lazy son of a gun when I was at school. Most geniuses are.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Not gonna happen.

First, America has an outstanding university system where students actually receive an education, and top companies hire the top students.

Japanese universities are four-year summer camps where students learn little of value. Japanese companies prefer to hire poorly-educated graduates with irrelevant degrees, and then devleop them in in the company. This makes these young people dependent on their companies, and the system discourages them from ever leaving.

American companies promote on a performance-based systems. If you are an outstanding worker, you will be quickly promoted, or another company will try to get you to work for them. Your position in an American company is based upon merit. Conversely, if you are a poor performer, you can expect at the very least never to be promoted, and very likely fired.

Japanese companies preserve the power of the old farts by using the seniority-based system. If you are an exceptional worker, you will not be promoted any more quickly. If you don't perform at all, your job is still safe, and you will be promoted when the time for promotion comes around.

In America, the primary motivation for many young people is independence. This means financial independence, and wanting the freedom to do as you please. Entrepreneurs are motivated by the prospect of material gain, and the freedom suchs gain allow them. These people are willing to take risks to accomplish their goals.

In Japan young people are very risk-averse. From childhood they are taught to fit in, and not complain. The typical dream of most young Japanese is to become a lifetime employee of one of the "famous" companies, even if it means decades of drudgery for mediocre pay.

The American government enforces competition in the private sector. Antitrust laws limit the size and scope of companies. Collusion and price-fixing are felony offences, which are ruthlessly enforced, and offenders are severely punished (just ask the Japanese shippers and auto parts distrubutors who are doing time in American prisons right now).

In Japan there is no clear line between the private and public sector. "Amakudari" practices reward bureaucrats with executive positions within companies, and vice-versa. Antitrust laws are not exercised, corporate collususion and price-fixing is rampant at all levels of the economy (movie theaters, anyone?). These practices discourage new ideas and innovation, any new company which shows any promise is immediately swallowed up by a larger company, which then implements it's jurassic era policies within the new company.

Lastly, in America bankruptcy is not a social and civil death sentence. People who become bankrupt (like Harlan Sanders, or Donald Trump) can shake the dust off their shoes and start over again

In Japan, bankrupts lose their right to vote, they cannot be hired as full-time workers, etc.

Abe has a hopeless task, even if he were inclined to actually perform it, which I doubt.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

@ Kuribo1

Yet none of those are actually highly profitable industries, meaning they lack any serious competition. Perhaps Japan is the "leader" in those industries because no one else bothers to enter those fields.

South Korea mostly focuses on profitable industries like AP, memory chips, and displays and they are miles ahead of Japan in all those sectors.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It becomes law later this month that companies have to unlock your phones if you ask them to.

@ Strangeland: Yes I am aware of that change coming up. But right now if you go and ask them to do so, even if the phone is paid off and you are leaving the country they will not. I used that issue as it relates to this article to show that if Abe really wanted to affect change in J-business, the major carriers and manufactures (like Sony, Fujitsu, etc) of cell phones would begin to put out a full scale ad blitz on how this can make the consumer more in demand since now they can switch between carriers, or pick up a phone from one carrier that another has and still use a different provider. But as many have pointed out here and in other articles, the J-business model is relying on the consumer to stick to "brand loyalty" which means you will get what we give you, since we know what is best.

When I first came to Japan 15 years ago, there were people who worked on the US bases but lived off base who were placing ads to newcomers to "buy" their home phone lines from them, since as late as 2000 one had to "buy" the phone line from NTT, and still had enormous phone bills from dial up internet usage, where back in the US we were well underway with cable/dsl internet, and not so here in Japan, and one didn't have to "own" a phone line as they did here in Japan.

Same as with the music industry, I see more CD shops that still sell discs than and you would be hard pressed to find a record store in America since everyone goes digital. Just a few examples where Abe and the government need to focus on making the leaders of industry understand what's going on, and not focusing on giving us the same old, with just a new coat of paint.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ sangetsu03

Aside from a handful of exceptional American universities, the university system in America is trash. We would actually be better off if we closed down 90% of all our colleges and kept the best ones around.

What people don't get is that a country's economic health is determined by the genius quantity/population ratio and quality of geniuses.

The US has a defacto IQ test called the SAT that weeds out all the low and mediocre IQ people from attending the best institutions. East Asian countries have more of an effort-based college entrance test that favors mediocre minds with unhealthy work ethic. Stop holding back your geniuses, east Asia. I have never seen anyone with a 100 IQ ever invent anything that I needed or wanted.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Heavy-Manufacturing-of-Power-Plants/ just as an example there are more than a few competitors and Japan is top tier, reason why developing countries ask Japan for its process technology and or building procedures. This is just an example. I do not think people are giving Japan enough credit where credit is due. I would also consider medical technology innovation quite an important field of study. From non reactive plastics in artificial joints to organic flexible transistors for helping individuals with spinal damage, again just a few examples. I do not but the whole light years ahead in display or memory chips it has been proven a couple of times that south Korean companies have stolen Japanese technological advancements especially in organic membrane display systems. http://www.idemitsu.com/products/electronic/el/index.html again just an example.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@ Kuribo1

lol... Yeah, those sneaky Koreans stole Japan's technology and ended up with a technology that is so far above what the Japanese have accomplished... What?

Those technology theft accusations are from Japanese and Taiwanese right-wingers who are in disbelief at how much superior South Korean tech is. This isn't the first time this has happened. Most recently, the Taiwanese have been accusing the South Koreans of stealing TSMC's AP process, yet once again, it's the South Koreans who are far ahead of Taiwan in AP manufacturing process.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Kuribo1

" I would also consider medical technology innovation quite an important field of study"

Right, that's why most Japanese hospitals use Siemens CAT and other similar equipment ... definitely not made in Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Abenomics is a roundabout way of maintaining the status quo: corporate welfare, big government, higher taxes, over-regulation, and runaway deficit spending.

This website ran an article a few weeks back debunking some of these myths with (shock news) actual numbers and facts and it of course received a number of negative comments from the local commentariat. Reality is that government in Japan is much smaller that in western countries both in terms of size of the bureaucracy and the per-capita level of government spending, and the tax burden is lower. As for "runaway" deficit spending, all that means is that much of the stimulus spending (as opposed to money spent providing government services) is ending up sitting in bank accounts and not generating economic activity and taxation beyond the initial boost. That shows there is a problem of HOW the money is being spent, not the clueless idea that the problem is that money is being spent. If the government of Japan doesn't spend money, then you got none. As for corporate welfare, welcome to the real world, that is a global issue not a Japanese one.

But of course, it is much more fun to ignore the actual issues and causes of economic problems, and instead blame everything on easily disproven fallacies. And also be sure to blame Japanese culture and babble on about needing more risk taking and innovation. As if we need any more Facebooks in the world.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

During a speech at Stanford, Abe said Japan needs to emulate Silicon Valley style, risk and innovation.

Shows how far Japan has dropped in a little over three decades. I mean in the 70's and 80's, everyone was rushing to Japan to study the "Japanese Miracle" and how Japan's corporate culture was to be emulated. In fact, Japan was buying up much of the U.S., because "they lost the war, but were winning the peace". Fast forward to 2015, and Abe is saying Japan must become like Silicone Valley. Wow.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@klausdorth Well, whatever it is what it is. Japan is a leader in the world of technology and so are a handful of other nations with varying degrees in their prospective fields. Siemens cat systems use fujifilm holdings monitors and displays while some models used for pediatric care are joint venture engineered. Those are used in Japanese hospitals while not made in japan made using japanese parts.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Kuribo1

Of course Japanese parts are used in Siemens' CATs or MRIs , as are Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese and others.

The point is that the technology was and is not made in Japan.

To make it easy: sure, your Toyota, Honda or whatever car was developed in Japan, but quite a few parts are from other countries.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Home to one of the largest H1B1 visa population.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@klausdorth No but that is not the point the point is that the best parts that make up the machines come from Japan as well as other countries that is what I am trying to say, not that hard to understand. Japan has is areas that it excels in and that is the point they are innovators and leaders in their technologies that other use to makes something. People make it sound like Japan has been wiped off the map and does not give credit where credit is due. US has innovation and excels in some areas while it lags in others, Japan excels in many areas and lags or struggles in others. Other commenters make it seem that Japan has not been able to bring new technologies to the table for whatever perceived reason whether it is a real reason or not. And yes the technology used in the machines for example IS made in japan that is why it is purchased from a Japanese company in Japan and installed into a foreign device.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

America has an outstanding university system where students actually receive an education

% with a tertiary education degree: Japan 58.7%, US 43.13%. That outstanding university system does nothing at all for two-thirds of American young people.

Your position in an American company is based upon merit. Conversely, if you are a poor performer, you can expect at the very least never to be promoted

Assuming you can get a position. Unemployment rate: Japan 4.1%, US 5.5%

In Japan young people are very risk-averse. From childhood they are taught to fit in

You say it like you think fitting in is a bad thing. Murder/robbery rate per 100,000 pop: Japan 1.02/4, US 5.0/146.4

I'm not dissing America. I think it has a lot going for it. But it's no Utopia. There is a lot it (and other places) can learn from Japan.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Impossible in the current climate. You can't even change your address without a mountain of paperwork and back-and-forth! Want to open a post-office bank account? Got to be done at the branch closest to your house. Loose your drivers license while out of town? You can't get another one, or drive until you go back to your local drivers license centre and take a day off work to sort it out.

Doing even small menial tasks which should take only a few minutes online take a whole day, or dayS! I seriously doubt anything close to Silicon Valley is coming to Japan in our life time. If it does, I'll gladly eat my words.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Please stay on topic. The crime rate in the U.S. is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kiwiboy Not going to lie the paperwork issue is something of a monster in Japan, I do not think I have seen anything like it before. The only thing that rivals it is the US immigration paper work, US police reports and foreign technology patents.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ Cleo

Educational rate means nothing. What's important is the quality and quantity of geniuses in your country. This is why American tech companies crap all over Japanese tech companies. Japan and other East Asian countries are forsaking their geniuses for mediocre minds with unhealthy work ethic.

An over-educated 100 IQ guy will never be able to design a unique microprocessor. All that he will be able to do is work in an office producing nothing of value to society because his intelligence isn't high enough to extend technology. Guess which high IQ slacker is working for a leading semiconductor company designing microprocessors and improving the standard of living in the US? Me.

Truth hurts. East Asian countries need to stop forsaking their geniuses for try-hard wannabes pretending to be smart.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Hey, recordings on vinyl are making a big come back here.

Shinkansen are old technology. Nothing wrong with either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@HighIQGuy

What's important is the quality and quantity of geniuses in your country. This is why American tech companies crap all over Japanese tech companies.

There are so many factors in society, other than IQ, that are much better at explaining the rate of tech innovation. But for someone who only has a hammer (or a high IQ), every problem looks like a nail.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Except that the ps3 cpu was partially designed by IBM or "white people" and the ps4 apu was designed by amd and sony "asian people" jointly. But hey who cares right?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

HighIQGuy, I'll tell you why you are basically missing the point with your genius theory.

Even if we assume you are 100% correct that our economic success depends on a handful of geniuses, you don't bring us any closer to understanding why those geniuses eventually decide to set up their businesses in America rather than Japan. That's what we are trying to understand here isn't it?

For me it's rather simple. Investing in expensive research and innovation is pointless if there are no legal protections and someone can just steal your idea. Out of all the countries in the world, the US has the most favourable intellectual property protections for inventors. It's a bit of a no-brainer for investors.This problem has more to do with culture, law and economics than pure genius.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US SAT score is not the same as IQ. Japan has a very similiar system as SAT called "hensachi". There is no empirical evidence for technical innovation being a linear function of IQ (or SAT or "hensachi"). Most of the "best minds" in the world are either chess players or have a social problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, I totally agree with Sighclops...to add another opinion...Some of my students (private here at my residence) work in some of the top Japanese companies and medical institutions. One software programmer told me about the way Japanese have meetings. Most everyone is afraid to say or give their opinion or idea especially if there is a high level manager present. Therefore putting a damper on creative thought and fresh ideas. One can't think outside the box. Another example is a Intermediate English level Community center class of elder housewives and a few guys. We had read a column or two of a paper I handed out two weeks previous, I said, "O.K. Let's "review" it from the top. Read thru it fast since we studied it two weeks ago. The class leader said she didn't want to start at the beginning because she's bored (always) of reviewing, I mean one sentence each about fourteen students should take about five to six minutes. She said, "she didn't care if she doesn't learn every word"! ah? We got into a sort of tense moments as I stressed that some weren't here for the first reading as well as one must go over the words until they know and can apply them. Then I said, great that you have your opinion, but I disagree and then asked the class. What DO YOU think? Do you want to start with a quick review from the beginning? or do you want to just start where we left off two weeks ago? And ya know what No one said anything. I couldn't get an answer out of ONE person. They are so afraid that someone will feel bad or get their feelings hurt that they'd rather NOT "rock the boat"! I grew up to say what I think! Yes, at times I say the wrong things but....aside from that...well Abe can have a positive dream for what Japan could accomplish, but he's not dealing in reality. It's already imbedded in their education since first grade...These elder students grew out of that experience and education. Don't say what you think...follow the others and shut up....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

sighclops, another point is they do not hesitate to accept talent from abroad

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And another point is they speak English.

And... Steve jobs made the quintessential Silicon Valley statement when he told a Stanford graduating class to not live someone else's life. Let us see Abe repeating that in Japan. The fact is Japan is a burn out because of its rigid authoritarian system. It will soon be joined by China, tiger moms and all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Right Kabukilover. Japan is a "burn out" -big time. Their renowned style of management is out dated, since, when, mid-eighties? Japan struggles to globalize it's workforce.

When you state "rigid authoritarian system"- again you're spot on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most people is wrong. My father is a very backward man. But I've shown him that there're many ways to do things. Now he believes in my and we're expanding to other areas. Old people change. Jyst give them time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Shows how far Japan has dropped in a little over three decades. I mean in the 70's and 80's, everyone was rushing to Japan to study the "Japanese Miracle" and how Japan's corporate culture was to be emulated. In fact, Japan was buying up much of the U.S., because "they lost the war, but were winning the peace". Fast forward to 2015, and Abe is saying Japan must become like Silicone Valley. Wow.

Four thumbs-down for simply stating the obvious. Guess the truth hurts. Japan was given prosperity on a platter by a U.S. government willing to spend whatever it took to keep the country peaceful, and a willingness to open up its markets to Japanese products, even at the expense of U.S. companies and jobs. And in just a couple of generations they have manged to screw it up. And, tragically, it did not need to happen. I mean it is not like Silicone Valley has just sprung up in the last few years, or that stagnation has not been present in Japan for nearly three decades now. But pretending everything was OK, is always much easier than actually addressing the problems.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I noticed Abe got to meet the Facebook guy. Did Mark get to practise his Mandarin?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Risa Yoshiki should go to Silicone Valley.

Then flap her jibberish about manners / conformity in the workplace. Bla-bla-bla nonsense. Nope. Won't bear fruit in 2015. Japan, change your attitude.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has missed so many boats in the past 20 years and let other countries take the lion share of the market on the world stage...

The internet

Mobile phones

Smartphones

Tablet computers

Bluetooth speakers

iPod style music players

eBook readers

new generation vacuum cleaners (Dyson, Roomba)

etc

I go to Yamada Denki or Yodabashi... many of the Japanese products seem to be copies of other countries' products...

For example, look at all the Japanese clones of Dyson vacuum cleaners.

Japan is playing catch up.

Japanese innovation seems to be in things such as rice cookers...

Wow! a new stone pot to cook the rice!

Unfortunately it's not going to take the world by storm.

I remember seeing a TV program (probably on NHK) 4 or 5 years ago about a young guy working at Sony, designing Vaio computers. I think it was supposed to show how young engineers were being innovative in Japanese companies. In the program this young engineer explained how he had made the clips between the screen and body of a Vaio notebook smaller.

I knew then that Vaio was finished.

A lot has been made of Japanese "innovation" in the past, often with the Sony Walkman trotted out as prime example... well, even that was invented by a foreign person. Sony just took the idea and made it into a great product.

Nowadays Japanese companies can't even do that! They're always too late.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Meh FACEBOOK? I always said that facebook was going to die someday. Most of my friends dont use it anymore.even twitter. Google is investing alot of money but India will catch them someday. In the end we will all win the same money.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My Space" died too. After Facebook, look for more innovative social media. Silicone Valley is truly the benchmark.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've taught a few engineers from Japanese high-tech companies, and the general impression I have from chats with them is that Japanese companies sorely lack in the creative-initiative category coupled together with a hesitancy to take risks. In a Japanese company, nobody wants to be the guy/gal holding the bag. Added to that is the fact that there's usually some elder statesman of the company running things old-school. The mavericks like the ones you see in the U.S. just aren't there when you look at the don't rock the boat types in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Silicon Valley was hand made of man is nothing to other world or parallel or paradox world. Why Japan can't do it a better Silicon Valley? Like Bill Gates says “Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world...if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” As still Japan is the World’s 3nd Largest Economic Superpower. Japanese culture is always testing and testing they are smart people never underestimate them. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” ― Sun Tzu

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reality is that government in Japan is much smaller that in western countries both in terms of size of the bureaucracy and the per-capita level of government spending, and the tax burden is lower.

Relatively speaking, yes, but, that the tax burden is comparatively lower, doesn't mean it should be raised, or that it's reasonable.

Japan's debt is bigger than it's actual economy. Per-capita, or whatever measure you'd like to use, spending is very high.

Comparatively, perhaps things don't look as bad, but, in absolute terms, it's not great. That Sweden spends more than Japan, isn't helping Japanese consumers increase their wages, or revive the economy.

That shows there is a problem of HOW the money is being spent, not the clueless idea that the problem is that money is being spent.

I won't disagree with you that money isn't being spent well. However, that doesn't mean spending shouldn't be brought under control.

Deficit spending isn't a panacea for all economic woes. Tax cuts would go further in allow people to KEEP more of the money they earn. Cutting taxes on business would give companies more of an incentive to spend, especially if those tax breaks are tied to investment, recruitment, and development.

Tax increases do more to hinder economic growth. One, median income earners are more often than not targetted for tax hikes, reducing their discretionary income significantly. Value-added-taxes are also detrimental to low income families and the poor, so raising them makes no sense. Higher VATs increase costs to businesses, who therefore have to raise prices to maintain profit margins. Higher prices, again, hurt working families, low income earners, and the poor.

As for corporate welfare, welcome to the real world, that is a global issue not a Japanese one.

Again, I agree. I never wrote that corporate welfare doesn't exist elsewhere.

But of course, it is much more fun to ignore the actual issues and causes of economic problems, and instead blame everything on easily disproven fallacies. And also be sure to blame Japanese culture and babble on about needing more risk taking and innovation. As if we need any more Facebooks in the world.

Well, first off, who's blaming Japanese culture? Certainly, I'm not.

The Japanese economy was in a bad state well before PM Abe was even elected. We all know the free market system isn't perfect, and that it gets "gamed" by "the powers that be". However, let's no give this government, or previous ones, a pass.

However, it's no fallacy that the consumption tax hike hurt the economy. It's no fallacy that working people aren't being given the incentive or the means to engage in "a virtuous cycle of consumption". The Japanese economy is over-regulated; that's no fallacy.

These are things the government can change, but, still chooses to continue doing, oblivious, or uncaring of how it negatively impacts most people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No but that is not the point the point is that the best parts that make up the machines come from Japan as well as other countries that is what I am trying to say

Kuribo1,

Japan USED to make products, now more & more they are either disappearing or becoming PARTS suppliers! To be sure they make some damned good parts, BUT Japan used to be the ones making lots of final PRODUCTS, they are falling back at a tremendous pace overall.

Yes a few parts makers will prosper, but overall sadly the decline will continue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeah sure I want my own SV too. Problem is Japan is soo close-minded for that "spirit" to come out. If Japan doesn't change its mindset and ways to work things out (bureaucracy and xenophobia) I don't see any future for that (at least in their territory)...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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