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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 24, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Wednesday, October 24, 1973 They wrote the book for others to copy By BUD JORGENSEN TOKYO (CP) Underlying Japan's economic strength is a deep-rooted sense of pes- simism. The structure of the economic system raises questions about the ability of the Japanese to react quickly to the need for change. The Japanese wrote the book on how to build an ad- Business strength rooted in pessimism r vanced industrial system product been in a short time and the turned into a joke as people pattern now is being copied, notably by South Korea and Taiwan. Within 28 years of the end of the Second World refer to "gross national pollution." Japan had the fastest growing economy among industrial countries during War, Japan is a major in- tne last decade as GNP- dustrial power but many of Jumped by more than 10 the bills are coming due. Per cent a year. The drive to increase The Japanese first relied production of goods and on cheap labor and mass- national production techniques to flood the world market with consumer items. They bought or borrowed technology abroad and, through hard work, made Japan a major economic power alongside the United States and the wealthier European countries. Wages have increased and now the Japanese in- dustries that rely on cheap labor have lost out to other FUR FABRIC A COAT HAPPENING Discover the luxury coots of winter at values you never dreamed of trimmed and untrimmed a selection that includes Battle Jackets, Pant Coats, Regular Coats belted or unbelted. Choose now while prices are right and choice is unlimited in wools, leather, sheepskin or fur fabric. Browse around find the one you want. betty Available aiaii 3 Stores Centre Villiga Mill CoiiiflB Mill 712 4tb Am. South countries. Taiwan and Hong Kong have taken over much of the textile business and other in- dustries where assembly- line labor is needed. A ma- jor portion of the black- and-white television sets now sold in the United States are assembled in Taiwan. The rush to build up the economy meant that the Japanese used the quickest, but not necessari- ly the cleanest, pioduction techniques. Pollution control is a technological problem which the Japanese are confident they can solve, but it is only part of a broader problem of sus- taining economic momen- tum and it is not clear that the Japanese know where they go from here. The frustration of living in Japan and the uncertain- ty about the future came out at a meeting with a 36- year-old middle-level ex- ecutive with one of the six groups of companies that dominate the Japanese economy. The session began as an interview in the grey- painted open office crammed with desks that is typical in Japanese businesses and ended in the executive bai, where Japanese expect conversa- tions to be confidential. The him Taro a Cana- dian client drop in unex- pectedly and Suzuki's opinions shifted as he first played up to the client and then rambled on over drinks after the client left. To the visiting client he complained of a decline in the quality of craftmanship in Japanese products, mak- ing it tougher for the Japanese to compete. "The young people want to quit at five. They don't want to learn and the old people are dying off." Later he complained bit- terly about what had hap- pened to Tokyo, his home town, and went through the familiar list of overcrowding, high cost of living. The young will change all that, he said, and "I am on the side of the young" when the time comes to overthrow the "estab- lishment." The U.S., Suzuki said, is a "cheap, dirty country" where it is not safe to ride subways, "but in 10 years it will be the same here." "Japan needs cheap labor. They will bring in Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Malaysians." Then he locked fingers and twisted his palms with a scowl at the prospect of racial conflict in Japan. The current fiction best- seller in Japan is a novel entitled Nippon Chinbotsu (Submersion of Japan) by Sakyo Komatsu. The novel is about the de- struction of Japan by an earthquake. A Tokyo department store has been seiimg earthquake survival prices range from about to the rate of about 20 a day. Komatsu's book is loose- ly based on scientific fact and it appeals to a real fear in Japan. There was an earthquake 50 years ago that destroyed half of Tokyo and killed about But Nippon Chinbotsu may also represent other destruction of the Japanese countryside by pollution or destruction of the Japanese economy. Walking outside in down- town Tokyo is like riding in a convertible behind a long-distance bus in a Canadian city. The extent to which the Japanese have brutalized their country is even more striking away from in- dustrial areas where broken glass and litter are spread over public land. Industrial pollution was unavoidable once the deci- sion was made to build up industries by the quickest methods but limits to mis- use of the land are quickly reached when 108 million people are jammed into an area with less habitable space than Ireland. Takeo Doi is a Japanese psychiatrist who wrote about group behavior in a book called Anatomy of Dependence. The business cor- porations are the predomi- nant institutions in modern Japan and the group which influences a man's behavior is his peers at the office or factory. The group provides a complete social atmosphere and the Japanese are sensitive about doing anything which might reflect badly on the group. Doi says this leads to Japanese lacking senses of both individuality and public spirit. Sociologist Chie Nakane in her book, Japanese Society, says the Japanese system has a built-in resistance to innovation. Japanese youth soon con- form to the business sys- tem after they finish school. Officials of the Japanese education ministry con- firm that most of the effort in schools is going into areas of anolied technology. Education ministry of- ficials and businessmen concede that Japan is not spending a great deal on basic research. The businessmen are confident that they can continue to buy needed technology abroad. Japan, according to the most recent available figures, has been spending substantially less of its total national income on education than the U.S. or Britain. Kx-rcporler Michael Norell, Capt. Stanley on NBC-TV's once was a staff writer for the Rich- mond (Va.) Times- Dispatch. MOST SYMPHONIES The most prolific symphonist on record was Johann Melchior Molter who died in 1765. During his lifetime he wrote 169 sym- phonies. ;