The Japan That Can Say No

Ishihara, Shintaro
January 1991
Man Who Discovered Quality - Business Book Summaries;1991, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book summary
In The Japan That Can Say No, Ishihara outlines what Japan must do in order to be the mainspring of the new world order. Moreover, the author explains why Japan must use their technological lead to achieve a new consciousness (without the usual traumatic convulsions), if they are truly to become a mature society. Ishihara also details specific areas in which the U.S needs improvement if it is to be competitive in the 21st century.Japan’s economic change from smokestack industries to knowledge-intensive industries such as software, computers, and semiconductors is not necessarily a good thing. Historically, no country has flourished by neglecting brawn in favor of intellect, thus, Japan should not automatically accept this destiny.Although America’s problems are of its own making, some prefer to blame Japan and its so-called closed market. A more productive exercise would be for Americans to stop the arm-twisting and sanctions, and get the country back into shape. MIT’s 1989 study, Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge, and the earlierGlobal Competition: The New Reality, by the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness made the same point-America’s industry is weak in comparison to Japan’s because of outdated strategies, neglect of human resources, poor communication and cooperation between research centers and factors, and technological weaknesses in development and product.The 21st century will be a tri-polar world (the U.S., Japan, and Europe). The U.S. will try to reaffirm its historical ties with Europe via an alliance with Russia, but it will be in Russia’s best interest to align with what will be a dominant Germany, making it clear that America’s destiny lies in the Pacific. Thus, the U.S., a country rich in diversity, would achieve its destiny in the rich diversity of Asia. Japan can play a constructive role in the European arena by offering an aid program that combines funds, management know-how, and technology.


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