Ethnocentric Economy

“Compared to the U.S., Japan’s culture is indeed rather closed and insular. It may fairly be described as an ethnocentric, patriarchal, and conformist society, sometimes reminding observers of America in the 1950s. Yet its record of economic innovation has been strong. The Walkman was not created by some free spirit in a garage in Silicon Valley, but by Kozo Ohsone, manager of the tape recorder division of Sony. And innovations, such as commercially viable hybrid cars and flat panel TV, have continued to flow in the decades since then. Japan’s corporate conformists are today generating more high-tech initial public offerings than the U.S. So whatever perfectly valid reasons one might have for objecting to that kind of culture, lack of economic creativity is not one.”

— Ian Fletcher


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