Japan’s Strength and Weakness, How this Distinctive Nation Copes with Globalization


こんばんわ みんなさん! げんきですか?

Actually, this is my Topics on Japan final report,  but it seems to be exciting enough to be posted. Anyway writing and doing critical thinking like this somehow remind me about my past time when i was being a high school varsity debater 🙂

Somehow i really miss it, well, happy reading guys! For 東京工業大学 student, happy examination weeks! :*


As a country that’s defined to be one of the most developed countries in Asia, Japan is known for its high quality education. According to The Global Competitiveness Index 2012-2013 by World Economic Forum, Japan ranked second at primary education enrollment. The primary education enrollment at Japan is very high, the attendance rate for compulsory 9 years education (primary and secondary education) is as high as 99, 98%. In 2009, nearly 97,9% of teenagers continue to secondary education. One of the strength of Japan educational system is they provide primary education for free and this can be seen as an attempt of the government to make all of its citizens educate and illiterate. It is also shown that at lower education level, the number of public institutions always overgrows the private institutions.

However, as the education level grows higher the number of private institution enrollment rise. At higher education level, the institutions are composed by 73, 4 % of private universities and 93, 8% of private junior colleges. Due to lack of government funding to private universities and junior colleges, basically their tuition fee would be higher. However, statistic shown that 77, 6% of student finishing their secondary education would then continue to higher education. This shows strengths of Japan education and their people; generally speaking Japanese has already had the self consciousness of the importance of higher education.   Japan strengths also focus on their assets of prestigious universities in the world such as The University of Tokyo, our own Tokyo Institute of Technology, Osaka University, Tohoku University, and many more. Talking about research and innovations, Japan has shown its power whether it is at university level or research institution level, by ranked first at capacity of innovation at Global Competitiveness Index 2012-2013.

Looking at those outstanding facts and statistics about Japanese education condition, we really could conclude that the strength of Japan education system would really be a good foundation for their young people to later on be a leader of a super nation, leading on world’s economy, market, politic, and other sectors. However, some other statistic shown that actually Japan has experienced a decrease especially in its economic and industrial sector. Slowly but sure, if this decrease is not be taken seriously by Japanese government, surely Japan would be catch up by so many of its emerging competitors such as Korea. This problem relies on several factors, first of all Japanese still lies it heavy burden and important positions at the shoulder of their older people. It is seldom seen that young generation can get important position. However, as we know the Japanese population is aging quite rapidly so it is actually quite threatening to let all of economic and industrial burden to the shoulder of its aging worker. Japan has to make a more effective management system to make the position regeneration system happen efficiently.

Second of all, despite of its high quality on education, seemingly it is hard for Japan to cope with globalization. The reason of this globalization hardship remains as cliché as communication. The tendency of globalization at economy and industrial sectors is emerging and so many efforts have to be made up to catch up with the emerging trends. For example, to keep their good position in world industry; Japanese industries has to internationalize themselves, Internationalization is mainly done by making a shift of headquarters to overseas or making more international cooperation with foreign companies. Those two examples of efforts generally need something in common which is English speaking ability. Speaking about English language ability, even though English language has been taught to student since they were in elementary school, the portion of it is not big and it doesn’t really focus much on enhancing speaking ability. This condition is sometimes worsened by the common shyness that Japanese have, thus making it much more difficult to use English in a practical basis. Internationalization of industrial aspect and community also requires a more international and open minded point of view of the people inside. Japanese companies that want to catch up with globalization tend to find employees with an internationalized mind and good English speaking ability regardless of the nationality. Ironically, this attempt of internationalization sometimes disadvantages Japanese graduate sometimes disadvantages when they want to find a job because they are considered not to be internationally-minded enough by the companies.

In the end, globalization and internalization is generally faced by every country in this world, not only Japan, and every country has its own way to cope with this fast emerging trends. Japan might face difficulties to cope with globalization due to its lack of English as a globalization language and the way of the people to be conservative and keeping the tradition. But we also have to remember Japan as a distinctive nation that could advanced in such a fast pace from its plummet after World War II until they become a super nation like now. This fact really support the idea that Japan could survive the globalization and internationalization trend by the spirit of hard working, adapting, and fast learning owned by its people. Not forget to mention, that Japan is known to always be supported by its people creativeness and innovation capability that always brought up new idea to be implemented for Japan’s advancement to be a fully globalized, internationalized, and leading country in this world.




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