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Taiwan

1) Taiwan, like so many other countries (Israel, Panama, Norway, Saudi Arabia) and regions, is part of the US sphere of interest.

2) Like Japan, Taiwan is built on conglomerates: Evergreen, Cathay, and so forth.

3) Computex is quickly becoming the world's most important and influential IT trade show, ahead of CES in Las Vegas and CeBIT in Hanover. Taiwanese firms produce more than 50 per cent of all silicon chips, nearly 70 per cent of computer displays, and more than 90 per cent of all portable computers (The Economist, 29 May 2010, p. 66).

4) Taiwan has abundant financial reserves: twice those of France, and more than those of Japan.

5) Taiwan is already a model for China. We have seen a "Taiwanization" of the coastal regions of China, home to about 500 million people.

6) When China entered the United Nations, Taiwan had to leave. It is only a matter of time before the two countries are reunited. As the Chinese say "China has two big island, two" (meaning Taiwan is one of them, besides Hainan).

Japan

1) The US strategy has been to keep Japan dependent. Dependent on the dollar, on military support, and on oil imports. In return they have had to pay different "administrative fees".

2) Japan is a country torn between ideals of nationalism and of openness. In the nineteenth century its warrior elites understood the importance of creating a strong, unified, and modern state. This transition involved a minimum of violence.

3) Japan alone accounts for about twenty per cent of gross world production. Its main constraint is a home market of only 120 million. That explains why Japan needed to expand in the USA and in Europe.

4) Japan is a world of ritual. The Japanese stem originally from Mongolia; their ancestors moved into Korea and from there onto the archipelago. Three thousand years ago the islands of Japan were linked culturally to Pusan and South Korea.

5) Only a third of Japanese territory is usable. The remainder is mountains and infertile land. Most Japanese live on the short axis between Tokyo and Hiroshima. Two thousand years of dense population has led to a highly-developed social consciousness. As a result, few crimes are committed in Tokyo.

6) Japanese strategy used to be to take control of the Trans-Siberian corridor as far as Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. This would have allowed them to explore for oil on Sakhalin, a second Indonesia, and exploit forestry and mining industries in Eastern Siberia. The rise of the new China blocked this plan. Now they will have to apologize for their imperialist atrocities.

7) The Japanese religion, Shinto (shamanism), is exclusive to this nation. It is a nature religion which holds that the Emperor is divine.

8) Japan has a strong sense of community. The group must achieve harmony. You are not Mr. So-and-so, but So-and-so's superior and inferior to Such-and-such. You are part of the community.

9) In Japan the real rise to influence comes after fifteen to twenty years in the company.

10) There is a shared sense of status as members of a company whether you are an engineer or a cleaning lady. You are all part of the organization. Living an "independent life" is no goal for the individual.

11) Japanese values: harmony, feelings/face, patience, collective emotions, reciprocal obligations, step-by-step improvements, building of group consensus.

12) It is not polite to say "no" in Japan. You risk losing face. In the Western world we speak with our mouths and listen with our ears. In Japan it is much more important to stand face-to-face and be polite (to keep face).

13) Gift-giving is an important ritual in Japan. You have to assess the value of the gift and return something which has the same value. This is the same in China.

14) Reform in Japanese was largely triggered by the introduction of Western medicine to that country.176

15) The Japanese model is as follows. The emperor at the top is the figurehead. Below him the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MITI, now METI) sets the strategy. Below them you find about half a dozen conglomerates (Mitsui and others), many of which were started by old samurai families.

16) METI contains some thirty of the best strategic thinkers in Japan, well paid, financed by the conglomerates, but in practice part of the government.

17) The 6+4 strategy: a typical Japanese company will take six years to settle into a new country, and four years to make a profit.

18) Japan, a highly autonomous country, continues to account for almost half the total GNP of China. Japan has provided most of the humanitarian aid given by Asian countries, under considerable pressure from the USA, which frequently tells the Japanese they ought to finance operations by the "international community".

19) The foreign policy of Japan has been "each for himself". Japan is loved by none of its neighbours. By contrast, the South Koreans say "China, my grandmother".

20) That is due to Japanese colonial ambitions, leading to aggression in the coastal areas of China in 1931-2, in Korea in 1910, Manchuria in 1932, Hanoi in 1940, Saigon in 1941, Bangkok in 1941, and on Sakhalin (Russia) in 1905. Unlike Germany, Japan has never so far apologized for its atrocities.

 
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