Updated: Nov 16, 2020
We all know that Japan was a loser in World War II, completely bankrupt and humiliated. They had no alternative. They had to rebuild the country - the so-called “Japanese Economic Miracle” (Kōdo Keizai Seichō) and it occurred in a quick period of time.
In the heat, we can question what the #Coronavirus Pandemic has to do with the Japanese Economic Miracle. We may even find it completely absurd, because it happened before this pandemic many years ago. However, here we are going to evaluate several aspects, which we cannot ignore.
The Japanese are innovators, futuristic, confusing and amazing!?!
Are they geniuses to the point of planning decades ahead, or is this simply because they are, in a way, feeling a little isolated from the rest of the world since the beginning of their existence?
Today, Japan puts technology at the service of humans and tries to make their lives happier and less worrying. But, after all, isn't that what, deep down, we all want?
We are experiencing Strange and Challenging Moments, of Much Suffering at a Global level. It is not easy for any government to manage a worldwide pandemic situation. History can teach us a lot and even help to rethink Economic Reconstruction Strategies.
How did this true Miracle happen?
The Japanese Government has worked tirelessly with:
1. Protectionist Policies, that is, to export the maximum products but with High Added Value. Exports of Technologically Advanced Products are, even today, Japan's strong point. Because of that, 100% of Japanese people bet on
2. Educational Reforms, with massive investments in New Technologies, making the workforce highly qualified;
3. Cultural Factor - Japanese culture is highly disciplined and obedient and this has favored this situation and the acceleration of economic and general progress;
4. Dedication to Work - The Government called on the Japanese population to work hard due to this progress, explained very well what was at stake and everyone joined without blinking. This meant increasing working hours, the number of hours of daily work. Yes, there are no miracles without work! Whether we like it or not, we have to believe this seriously. Nothing falls from the sky, it takes Work and Effort from Everyone, without exception, Government included. No privileges for anyone. And yet! It was a general feeling with the motto “One for All and All for One”.
5. Private Group Incentive Policy with US money - through government incentives, the Government supported Companies.
Where did they get that money? To the United States of America at the time!!! Bizarre, isn't it?
The country that defeated Japan and humiliated it, is now Japan's investing ally! Yes, but there is a saying: - "If you don't beat them, you join them".
Great proof of humility, above all focused on the country's goal! I take my hat off to the Japanese.
Politically, this measure was a “Master's Coup”, because it prevented Russia from advancing against Japan, since the Cold War had already started. This allowed the country to remain strengthened and capitalist in Asia. They got it right. History does not lie.
6. Toyotism - a new industrial production system that emerged in Japan that implied radical changes in the Japanese Business Model and later worldwide. This was so important for the reconstruction of the country, that it influenced the Planet and transformed the Industrial Age of the 20th Century.
From the end of World War II until about 1990 it was a process of reconstruction and evolution, which was followed by a Decade of the "Lost Period" (from 1990 to 2000). The concept of the "Lost Decade" means a cyclical post-growth period that occurs in any country, when the pace of growth suddenly slows down because of Competition (already with China), which, at the time, was already beginning to assert itself as a Strong Competitor and also the so-called “Asian Tigers” (other Asian countries that, just after Japan, achieved similar economic and industrial progress and evolution).
During this period, the Japanese quality of life dropped significantly and everyone felt a huge Economic Depression and fell into a kind of Social Limbo. Also the Economic Bubble, in which many Public Private Securities/Bonds were sold massively - ending in Recession.
7. New Practices and New Economic Model - from the year 2000, Japan began to implement innovative practices to return to the Accelerated Pace of Growth.
It was not easy, as Japan lacks natural resources, with volcanic terrain, a lot of seismic activity, conducive to major natural disasters, a small country, always subject to competition from China.
Japan has already been surpassed in the World Ranking of Economies, falling to a 3rd position, while China assumes the 2nd place.
Who is in 1st place? Of course, the USA, with a GDP of $ 22.48 trillion in 2020, against China with a GDP of $ 16.15, and Japan with a GDP of $ 4.3.
See the link:
8. Kawaii Culture - precisely in this Lost Decade of Japan, the affirmation of Kawaii Culture arises, which helped the country to recover the economy.
It was so fundamental in economic development that it marked the history of Japan forever and influenced other cultures. Any Tourist, Investor or Common Human Being who visits Japan will come across this Culture, since any Public Warning or Signage Signs are “cute”. It is everywhere, becoming a driver of the Japanese economy and of - The Soft Power - (power of influence in the international community in the modern world).
Kawaii Culture is called a "cute" and "graceful Aesthetic Movement" and one of the biggest icons of Pop Culture worldwide. Just to get an idea of the importance of this Culture, watch the following video in which, at the end of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Soft Power felt very explicit at the moment when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared as Super Mario announcing that Tokyo would host the Olympic Games 2020.
In summary, these were the most relevant Japan's Strategic Measures in the face of the catastrophe in which the country emerged after the World War II.
There is even a known maxim when we talk about Japan:
"It is better to buy 1 ton of Ore and sell only 100 Kg of Satellite" - Do you understand what this means???? You must!
The Japanese Economic Model is very interesting. It may not be the Secret for this Back/Turning around to the Covid Pandemic19, but it inspires us and can still be a strong starting point for Strategically Rethinking the Reconstruction of the Economy, each country in its own way. This is definitely Good Management!
I have always heard that with Union, Rigor, Discipline, Work, Commitment and Respect, we are all “Winners”.
We really have to think about it. This Covid Pandemic19 presents us with huge Challenges and the Strategy has to be defined rigorously, mainly because of the Short Term, which is threatened and broken like a “glass in billions of shards”.
Courage! Everything is likely to be rebuilt, even from the ashes. We are all Important!