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Leaders should train students who have the potential to outshine them, but Japanese leaders tend to reject such students.

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Reona Esaki, a Nobel Prize winner in1973, who is currently president of Yokohama College of Pharmacy, on the struggles faced by Japanese researchers. (Nikkei Weekly)

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About time someone spoke the truth. The only way to advance in this country is to pay your way. Literally.

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When a culture stresses authority and stability over accomplishment and innovation, it will not excel.

Even the "Japanese model" of manufacturing came from an American.

I get that this is a favorite target for Japan bashers, and has therefore lost a lot of its rhetorical impact, but it's a favorite target for a reason. Ego is not integrity.

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TPOJ - well said. i feel for the poor students that have to toe the line or get put at the back of the line. logic, intelligence, accomplishment and innovation apparently has no place in this country.

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Wow totally agree with this guy, Japanese train people not to ask questions.

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A teacher who encourages students to excel in their own unique ways comes under attack in Japan as unfair by incompetent students who are accustomed to being spoon-fed equal doses of learning, repeated as necessary until the lowest common denominator gets it. Some teachers go ahead anyway and take criticism and demotions for this, but darned few try.

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This isn't really any different than in America. Educational problems like this aren't necessarily Unique to Japan. They may even be worldwide. While US schools may (many don't) have programs for "gifted" students, many teachers don't know how to handle them or lack the desire to help them go further. Japan should be happy at the base level, considering that the literacy rate in Japan is so much higher than that in the US. So many people in our country don't even know how to read.

However, I do agree with the statement. How can we hope to progress if academics isn't willing to let the bright youth excel? These days it is much like neverknow2 says, you have to pay your way. A student can have high scores, get good grades, and be smart and insightful, but unless they can pay their way through college to get a degree they are out of luck. On top of that, an undergraduate degree is almost meaningless these days. So you have to pay even more to get a Master's degree, and then what? You still have to know the right people to get a job.

It's so hard to battle educational stagnation when the community network is all that matters. As much as the US stresses individualism in comparison with Japan's communal vibe, we still have to network to get anything done. You have to know someone who knows someone to get a position.

Regardless, educational systems need to be reformed. Much like many systems across the world, people no longer enter a career based on the desire to help humanity. Everyone wants to help themselves, or just stay afloat.

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