If we look at history, we can see how Japan has made advances in technology and modernism that are a far cry from anything seen in the West. The country’s modernization began a century before WWII, with the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The shogunate, a military dictatorship from 1192 to 1867, was a conservative force that sought to keep Japan isolated from the West.
Japan’s highly developed physical infrastructure conceals its technological backwardness. While the country’s public infrastructure is first-rate, many of its digital systems are outdated and hard to use. Even major newspapers have clunky digital interfaces. Japanese toilets are notorious for being inefficient, but they still clean your nether regions and sing songs for you! While this might seem like a dated concept, the Japanese have proven that they can develop and produce advanced technology.
Despite this public image, corporate Japan tends to overstaff its employees. In times of economic recession and technological change, corporations retain core employees, but smaller subcontractor companies are forced to lay off employees. But in times of economic growth, these same corporations have thousands of employees. This is a recipe for stress. As a result, many Japanese companies have a high level of employee turnover and the resulting loss of productivity and entrepreneurialism.
With a decreasing population, Japan’s economy is facing a labor shortage. In order to maintain its high standard of living, it needs to embrace mass immigration and rely heavily on robotics and AI. A combination of these technologies is the solution to a rapidly shrinking labor force. However, the Japanese workforce continues to embrace technology, and its workers have embraced it. It has been noted that a combined Japanese workforce has been the key to the country’s success in manufacturing. Its workers actively participate in technological change.