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Rice Country

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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
The translation of 'United State of American' in Chinese literally means 'beautiful country', but in Japanese, that means 'rice country'. That leaves people wondering what the annual US rice production is.
All the translation took place in 1800's, 'beautiful country' is positive, and 'rice country' is, at the best, neutral. So we can see the difference in term of attitude toward western civilization between China and Japan.
However, attitude does not really count. China fall behind in the race of industrilization. Japan won the first Sino-Japanese war, and went on with World War Two and Pacific War. And as we all know, it ends with the A-bomb in Hiroshima.
After World War Two, Japan achived economic miracle, becoming the 2nd largest economy on earth. But now the defeat of World War Two takes its toll, Japanese economy is losing ground everyday. 90's is called 'lost decade' in Japan.
But it has not seen the worst. A political and military short(no nuclear weapon), Japan is pround of his economical giant. Now once it become a short in economy, Japan will become a second or third rate country. The worst thing is Japan owe other east asian countries dearly in the past.
Personally, I think the future of Japan is doomed. It was defeated by US, China, and Russia(in the order of contribution). All three countries are UN permanent members, have nuclear weapon, and are large. And Japan is still occupied by the US, all the incident between Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima won't be forgotten for generations(I doubt Japanese will ever forget about it). A revenge minded asia(mainly China) and the anti-revenge minded west(mainly US) will box Japan in, no breathing room.
Anyway, Japan had its glory days. A tiny island country made such an incredible run: industrilization, economical miracle, world factory, high tech, dazzling they will be gone, for good.
It seems telling us, everyone has destiny. And the destiny will takes its hands sooner or later. The wildest dream is, after all, a dream.
If you are 5'4, how can you expect to play center in NBA?
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Who says that a country has to be one the TOP of the economic scale to be a "first rate" country??
I sure would not want to teach my kids that only the TOP kid in the school was worth while. Every one else is "2nd or 3rd class". :roll: .
Perhaps what needs to happen is that Japan needs to re-assess the scale on which it judges itself.

"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Mark Fletcher
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Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Hey <Guessing Future>
All I can say is, hats off to a country that was bombed back to the stone age (ok, not quite but you get my drift) and then through hard work and perserverance claws its way back to become the second strongest economy in the world.
Dont write off the Japanese economy just yet. The Japanese government without the military budget that burdens many nations (ok, so they have the SDF's, but they're not a nuclear power) could plow so much more into R&D... I reckon the Japanese are going to be sitting very nicely when the next big thing (nano tech) rolls in.

Mark Fletcher -
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I think that the real strength of a country comes from the amount of natural resources it has, because utlimately that's what we all consume. Human kind does not produce any thing, we just consume. Even basic things such as agriculture, hat we think we produce, are nothing but the consumption of land and water.
So without the basic ingradients, Japan has little choice. Since they don't have any resources to consume except human resources, all they can do is work day and night. (As I understand, it is already happening )
But then competition is everywhere, so every body in every country is working very hard. So that makes the situation of Japan extremely tough. They can't keep on selling their "brain output" (electronic gadgets etc) to others because now others also have the same knowledgebase and don't need to buy it. Earlier, Japanese gadgets were the ultimate...but now the same (or better) products are being developed by countries like China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Currently, Japanese cars are the best but I don't think this will last long. Korean cars are already getting better and I wouldn't be surprised if Chinese cars become hot in the next decade or so.
So over all, I don't think it has any future. Of course, this is just a theory.
Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay
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Joined: Nov 15, 2000
Posts: 59
I am Indian software engineer working in Japan for last 3 months and have worked in UK earlier (1 year) and US (2 months). Based on my observations of the countries I have worked in, I would say Japan DO have some plus points:
1. Very low crime rate and violent crime is extremely rare.
2. Military spending is low, as has already been mentioned earlier.
3. High standard of general education
4. Willingness of people to work hard - many happily work 10 to 12 hours day regularly. Not that I have not seen people working long hours elsewhere, but here it is more of a "culture" to put in long hours.
So it may be too early to write off Japan!
What Japan needs is more competition in domestic marketplace (you spend same for a 1 1/ 2 hour internal flight as you would for a 6 hour flight to say Singapore from Tokyo) and modernizing business practices more in line with elsewhere in world. Just to give an exmple, using cheques by individuals is virtually unknown. You dont pay your house rent by cheque, you need to go to bank and do a bank transfer.
[ October 31, 2002: Message edited by: aniruddha mukhopadhyay ]

Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Originally posted by aniruddha mukhopadhyay:

4. Willingness of people to work hard - many happily work 10 to 12 hours day regularly. Not that I have not seen people working long hours elsewhere, but here it is more of a "culture" to put in long hours.

As I said, working extra long hours ( happily? :roll: ) is more a necessity rather than a culture. They don't have an option.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Rice Country
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