What bothers me most – and should cause concern for you) is that so many of the consultants and think tanks in Japan focus on established, mainstream companies finding a foothold in Japan.
And while money can buy time and room for success for well-heeled corporations willing to send corporate executives to Japan to stay in uncharacteristically comfortable rented housing costing $15K~$30K per month, it is the homegrown and imported bootstrap entrepreneurs who can pump blood into this beautiful country.
There was a time when “Small Was Beautiful” in Japan and Japan’s miniaturization and naturalness was heralded in the West. But over the ensuing two generations, Japan has sold out to simplicity and spartan-ism and embraced mass consumption, planned obsolescence and a penchant for breeding a throwaway culture.
In the course of this sellout, the government has given scant funding to startups and instead focused on attracting rich overseas banks and subsidiaries of large corporations to set up shop in Japan. In western Japan, Oita Prefecture built and industrial zone and a four-lane super highway to attract the overseas bucks and established companies. That industrial-cluster park is essentially a bust, though the highway is nice (and very expensive). In Shikoku, they built a gazillion-dollar bridge to connect with the mainland of Honshu; the result has been a total bust as well, and the toll fares discourage car and truck traffic of any significance to advance industry.
Yet the government of Japan – despite some projectile vomiting of grassroots ideals and village societies, essentially court shiny corporations overseas looking to spend their profits to get a foothold in the Far East, especially with Japanese and Chinese consumers.
So the hollowing out in many sections of Japan continue. The Japanese government is violating Einstein’ rule:
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. “
Success in Japan is not about money, it is about proud communities outside metropolises who have artisans and technological prowess to compete with the big bankers ready and willing to emasculate desolate areas in the name of global capitalism.
Consultancies and individuals pander to the base forces clogging our lifelines with elitist ideas of building junk-creating factories thriving on planned obsolescence and a penchant for waste. They are unequivocably the bloodsucking enemies and dinosaur of our planet. They are selling and planting Industrial Age expansionism in a world that no longer requires such broad expansion. This expansionism should be left history books and lecturers.
Success in Japan is about flexibility and sharing the opportunities. We must reject and reeducate the modern-day wasteland peddlers who deplete cultures in varied ways and leave behind Bibles as a token of appreciation.