Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
Richard Solomon of Beacon Reports recently wrote a very thoughtful piece first questioning and then analyzing the ability of Japanese firms to complete globally (see: Can Japanese Firms Compete In Global Markets?)
I. Myths & Memes
As so often happens with this and many other topics, ranging from war to innovation to relationships and dating, the question itself is beset if not hobbled with a series of Myths and Memes which we'll explore and unravel together in a series of future articles.
II. Are Japanese Baseball Players Good Enough For Major League Baseball?
My first thought upon reading this article was simply how it parallels this modern reality: Are Japanese baseball players good enough for major league baseball?
Think about it. We used to ask this very same question about Japanese baseball players. Could Japanese baseball players make it in the major leagues? Sure, we all knew that the Japanese players were solid players, they were good, no one disputed that but we wanted to know could the Japanese baseball players really make it in the major leagues? (see: The New Age Of Japanese Baseball-Player Media Coverage Sam Robinson May 9, 2008)
III. Can Japan Compete Globally On A Military Basis?
From historical records we know that the Japanese can compete globally, industrially, cultural and, yes, even militarily. So let's start with the military perspective. Militarily, the fierce fighting tactics and spirits of Japanese soldiers during WWII lead to horrific allied battle casualties, both physical and psychological (see: Thousand Yard Stare), that in many cases easily outstripped what was encountered in the European theater (although there are obviously some exceptions). And, of course, some of the fiercest battles of WWII were held in the Pacific theater: Tarawa. Saipan. Midway. Coral Sea. Marshall Islands, Eniwetok. Guadalcanal. Iwo Jima, and, of course,Okinawa all come to mind along with the horrific casualties and loss of life among both soldiers and civilians.