According to Mr. Saburo Shiroyama's book "Danshi-no Honkai (man's true worth)," Mr. Junnosuke Inoue, former Governor of The Bank of Japan and Financial Minister of Osachi Hamaguchi Cabinet before Second World War, usually said as following.
"Reading isn't always necessary for increasing your general knowledge,
and getting on with routine work; however, reading is essential for leaders, and that they help deal with the situation for the future."
On one particular occasion, "Don't work slowly, and let's go home after work without restraint!" said to his subordinates.
Such his voice means that it is instructive for Bank of Japan and the national interests to develop staff's ability by study from a broad perspective in their own time.
In fact, though business hours of Bank of Japan was from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. then, only he recommended his subordinates to go home before closed time.
Today, does any noble establishments who can give such instructions to?
They faced Japan's Showa Crisis (from the late 1920s to the former 1930s)
without self-interest, and then became right-wing terrorist victim in the
In particular, they drew violent criticism from then-establishments; military, politicians and bureaucrats in order to push through the disarmament of sea forces and the lifting of the gold embargo.
Before Second World War, there were such politicians in Japan who fought for own ideals and future of the country at the lisk of their life.
Since Inoue was killed, one of U.S. business leader, Thomas Lamont sent a condolence telegram, "Japan lost the best and faithful public servant."
Miraculous recovery from a devastated Japan after war, which was achieved at the sacrifice of lost of intelligence and responsibility.
According to Japan Times, Japan's shushin-koyo system means that employees are guaranteed employment until retirement age in return for their absolute loyalty to the company.
In former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), nomenklatura (the ruling elite of communism) called red nobilities had ruled the country as the privileged classes, and had restricted citizen's freedom and rights.
For the meanwhile, Japan is officilly in the Western democratic powers; actually, Japan's nomenklatura (the gray-haired nobilities) - who are lobbyist-politicians, mandarins and top corporate offices, that is, called politicians, bureaucrats and business leaders complex - have ruled the country.
While they cleverly have taken away citizens's intelligence and curiosity through uniform education, they have given only nominal freedom.
Many of Japanese have been taken away their decision and sense of independence by excessive overprotected and undifferentiated services under the administrative guidance.
And by material abundance silenced criticism to Japan's nomenklatura (the gray-haired nobilities).
I'm sure that Japan had been most successful socialist country in the world before the 1980s.
For a long time after the time of Japan's high economic growth period (from
the late 1950s to the 1960s), Japan's standerd employees practically have
been deprived of freedom to choose occupation for reasons of overburdened
mortgage, having only own company specific, seniority-based wages system,
limited mid-career recruiting and immature labor market, and tax privilege
against retirement allowance.
Many of Japan's companies became a citadel of workaholic employees called company soldier, they were supposed that job should take precedence over all other things.
In addition, they played golf and mahjong for after-hours business contact (settai) at the sacrifice of their own free time.
Woman's economic independence have been interfered thoroughly, even today, working mothers get harassed by many Japan's companies.
Intellectual citizen is unwelcome in Japan ruling Japan's nomenklatura
(the gray-haired nobilities) because they may pose a threat to vested rights
To put it simply, slaves are necessary for Japan's nomenklatura.
Neither intelligence nor culture is necessary to be given for slaves.
Under the official curriculum guidelines of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (ex Ministry of Education), Japan's public education has trained yeasayers who are believers of manual with a good memory, but lack individuality.
Hence, its education hasn't developed creativity and imagination of each student.
Japan's nomenklatura have produced believers of Japan Inc. just like Muslim fundamentalist, and systematized them as loyal supporter.
Japan's media is supposed to criticize for such things, but many of them became a citadel of believers of Japan Inc.
In fact, each correspondents' club, that is, self-regulating organization of news report have been very helpful for Japan's nomenklatura.
Otherwise, Japan's nomenklatura may not spend money on them.
"Japan's workaholic employees (company soldiers) give up sharpening the intellect." said Mr. Kiyotsugu Shitara, Chief of Tokyo Managers Union (labor union).
|Press Club System by Mr. Masahide Kanzaki|
There is the famous (notorious?) Press Club system in Japan's newspaper journalism.
Press Clubs used to be closed to foreign press, because they required a participant to be a member of JNPEA (Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Associatio).
Still, there are many arguments over this system.
| Declaration of Departure from the Press Club System on May 15, 2001 by Yasuo Tanaka, Governor of Nagano Prefecture
Guardian's article on November 29, 2002 "EU acts to free Japanese media"
On November 24, 1997, one of Japan's Big Four brokerages, Yamaichi Securities went bankrupt, 100 years after it began operations.
It was caused by a financial crisis linked to declining stock prices and a loss of credibility from scandals and illegal trading activities.
Yamaichi President Shohei Nozawa said with whimper, "The management was bad, not the employees. Please help find jobs for even one or two of them, please."
"Trained incapacit," this phrase not only directed to Japan's
mandarins but also all financial industry concerned.
They were promoted because of believers of Japan Inc. and working without failure, but not always their competence.
Hence, they did a competent job according to precedent, but they cannot help deal with the new situation.
The meaning of precedent is the administrative guidance and our great ancestors' technique which administered to Japan's rapid economic growth.
During the period of Japan's bubble economy (the late 1980s), banks built
up the ground level with fill using yakuza (Japan's gangster), and financed some real estate brokers by unregulated
They could not have thought how Italy's politico-economic system corrupt by mafia.
| In Italy, from 1992 to 1994, Chief Prosecutor of the Milan magistrate,
Antonio Di Pietro exposed a corruption network in which former Prime Ministers
Craxi and Andreotti were among dozens of accused high-ranking politicians.
The "Clean Hands" investigation showed that most political parties
were involved in an institutionalized system of bribes (Tangentopoli, or
Of course, some of politicians, including former prime ministers, had received contributions from mafia. (see also TIME Europe)
After the bubble economy burst, banks were left holding in bad loans, and then they asked the government to help using taxpayer's money.
On the other hand they refuse application for a loan without selecting company's potential carefully against small and mid size businesses; consequentially, banks bring small and mid size companies to a crisis of bankrupt and manager's suicide.
It is no exaggeration to say that banks are great majority of responsibility for lag in Japan's economic recovery.
In my heart I fed up with their poor intelligence.
"Yakuza recessions," this phrase paint a picture of Japan's recessions; unfortunately, Japan's Antonio Di Pietro haven't appeared yet.
Here is a phrase "trial and error."
That means that testing and mistake are repeated until seeking an answer in case of new situation.
In such a case, of course, there is no manual, and many mistakes before success.
It is the most important to learn by the precedence mistakes.
There are Japan's proverb: "Failure is a stepping stone to success." and "Anybody can make a mistake."
To my knowledge, one of the code for advancement of Japan's banks and government offices have been "No failure," that is, "No challenge new things."
Needless to say, whoever may say anything, executive officers in such office may not try new things.
It might have been no wonder those who stopped training the intellect, and learned only company politics were called incompetent.
"Ill-trained Incompetent," this phrase must have been a grim reality toward to believers of Japan Inc.
For Japan, the 1990s had been the Lost Decade, and bank managers have learned
few lessons from the period.
On the end of 2001, Financial Times reported "Risky tango in Tokyo."
Argentina was one of richer country in the early 20th century, but she fell into poverty because feeble government was repeated itself.
On the other hand, Japan have been richer country from the late 20th century.
Though recently Japan has been in a critical condition, but nobody knows when Japan bursts.
"Pride goes before a fall," we can say it only now.
Then, a recent story in the New York Times was titled "As Tokyo Loses Luster, Foreign Media Move On."
The Japanese may hardly have time to lose.
|As Tokyo Loses Luster, Foreign Media Move On|
|So began another sayonara party at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, marking the closing of another news bureau in Tokyo.
After 12 years of Japan's economy going sideways, stagnation fatigue is rippling through newsrooms.
In the last few months, newspapers closing their Tokyo bureaus included The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Independent of London, Dagens Nyheter of Sweden and Corriere della Sera of Italy.
Meanwhile, reporters from other newspapers are increasingly using the bureaus as pit stops as they race around the world to tell stories their editors find more interesting.
Today's editorial ennui with Japan partly revolves around the definition of news.
Given the choice between covering a stalled Japan and a developing China that will probably overtake Japan economically by the middle of the century, editors choose the more dynamic country.
In a typicial move, The Chicago Tribune closed its Tokyo bureau last year and moved its correspondent to China.
Bruce Dunning, Asia bureau chief for CBS, who has worked in Japan off and on since 1972, agreed, saying that Japan was a hard story to sell.
With change in Japan generally minute, incremental, and occurring without visible social friction, Mr. Dunning said, "It is very hard to make pictures of economic trends here."
Over lunch at the press club, where most of the diners were nonjournalist associate members, Naoyuki Shinohara, the spokesman of The Finance Ministry, said he was startled by the change.
Returning to Tokyo recently after several years in Manila, he concluded: "I guess we are not the rising sun anymore."
There are drug-induced diseases in Japan; for example, HIV-tainted hemophiliacs (1980s), thalidomide-deformed babies (1960s), the drug-induced SMON disease (1970s), and chloroquine retinopathy (1970s).
However, these diseases ought to be called a serious crime, which was caused by low and contemptible brutal men.
The victims of drug-induced diseases leaded to death or became a physically handicapped person; however, the brutal men were seldom sent to prison.
The mandarins of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (ex Ministry of Health and Welfare) let the brutal men's crime go unchecked, while the victims were reluctant to push hard to help.
Can you pardon them as a human?
Karoshi (death from overwork) have become an object of public concern since Babble
Era (the late 1980s); however, government, each enterprises and labor unions all might hardly have made efforts
to solve this problem.
What is more, some Japan's company made a statement "The Germans take a holiday too much!" and retreated from Germany in the former 1990s.
The biggest problem is voluntary overtime work excepted from Japan's government statistics, or that many workers are imposed unpublished long working hours by flexible working time or annual salary system.
What is worse, Japan's nomenklatura (the gray-haired nobilities) have been
reluctant to push hard to identify karoshi (death from overwork) as work-related
One of reason seems to be a public image, another one is that they tend to avoid raising a rate of workers' accident insurance.
Hence, real soldiers who were killed in the performance of their duties can win glory and raves, while dead Japan's workaholic employees (company soldiers) tend to be showered with wrongly slander; namely it is that "he seldom took care of himself," or "he had a chronic illness," for example.
Working without holidays, everyone undoubtedly have a breakdown in health; these slander was often spreaded around by loyalists of Japan's nomenklatura.
It is said when bereaved family tried to apply compensation for industrial accidents, loyalists sometimes destroyed evidence and/or suborned a witness.
Today, some Japan's standerd employees are taken mental disease, or commit
suicide under the influence of restructuring.
Everyone may ask "Can you somehow make do before these situation?"
But Japan's standerd employees, especially middle aged workers, practically are deprived of freedom to choose occupation for reasons of overburdened mortgage, having only own company specific, limited mid-career recruiting and immature labor market.
It should be tricks of fate that some of former loyalists of Japan's nomenklatura become tragic players.
They said, "Despite of being loyalist, I was betrayed by own company."
"Most of the Japanese employees have been obsessed by winning a struggle for existence. They are working without holidays for fear of dismissal, and feel remorse. It is resulted in death, though they would win a struggle for existence." said Lawyer Hiroshi Kawahito, secretary general of the National Defense Council for Victims of Karoshi. (see also Daily Yomiuri Interviews)
Japan is unparalleled convenience country in the world.
Prompt and accurate services are offered throughout the year if you wish.
But these services are not offered at all free.
In former times, their cost must have laid on Japan's consumer prices, but on the other hand recently it must be resulted in employees' voluntary overtime work.
The Japanese often say "Please be open throughout the year," or "Please do it rapidly."
We must begin to sink in that own free time is taken away each other by these casual words.
"Can you work for 24 hours?" It was a popular PR release of the supplement drink "Regain" in 1988.
I wouldn't work over such supplement drinks, how about you?
|Gen Kanai Web Log
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[Go to Financial Times' article "Risky tango in Tokyo"]
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