What can India learn from Japan?
Bharath Sai, Political Observer
Here I'm not going to write about the apparent things: that Japan is well disciplined, industrialized or honest. These were already covered at length in other answers.
Can you say what is wrong with India? I bet there are thousands of things that come to your mind.
Now can you say something what is wrong with Japan? I don't think you can be able to answer in the same pitch you have answered the earlier question.
Have you read something bad about Japan? Ever wondered why the media, which is generally critical about everything, never portrays Japan in a poor light? Can you think of something wrong about Japan? Have you realized that you are being influenced by something? What is it?
Soft power is the ability to influence the decisions in other countries without the use of force. It is different from hard power, which relies on military or economic might.
So how did Japan start projecting it's soft power?
Following the destruction in WW2, Japan hoped to rebuild their economy as well as it's national image. From a fierce military power, Japan took the route of soft power. Even the foreign policy of Japan was titled as Japan's Gross Nationalist Cool.
Instead of collapsing beneath its widely reported political and economic misfortunes, Japan's global cultural influence has quietly grown. From pop music to consumer electronics, architecture to fashion, and animation to cuisine, Japan became a cultural superpower.
Culture has become an industry in Japan. You are forced to think the way Japan wants you to think about about her.
Can India also learn from the experiences of Japan? Can it harness it's soft power and influence the decisions elsewhere?
Originally Answered: What should Indians learn from Japan?
Japan rose to glory from ashes.
It's a small county with hardly any resources. It's prone to frequent tsunami and earthquakes. The country has a terrible past. You would expect the citizens to die of self pity but no.. they rise and shine amidst all odds…
That's the fact- the power of a country doesn't lie in it's dimensions, resources, beauty, past etc. It lies in the hands of it's citizens.
I like reading random stuff on the Internet and there are several travalogues, news reports etc related to Japan that made me feel there is a lot, not only India, but the whole world can learn from.
1.I read this travelogue of a guy who had visited Japan. He was travelling in a bullet train, just sitting and looking around. Then he saw this guy moving from seat to seat with a needle and thread and stitching the torn seat covers! The protagonist, surprised, goes forward and asks the man whether stitching-seat-covers-on-bullet-train job actually exists? The man laughed and replied that he actually worked at SONY and he commutes by the train daily and cause he's free for 10 minutes, spends his time stitching the torn seats!
2.In Japanese schools, discipline, good manners, value education etc is done for the 1st few years. What a strong base! Hats-off!
3.Again, Japanese schools don't hire maids. The cleaning work is done by the students itself.
4.If you get late to school/work due to public transport service, they them self issue a letter claiming that the fault was theirs! Such responsibility!
5.Considering the fact that natural calamities are an everyday affair, one expects lot of causality on daily basis but nah! Everybody is well trained to deal with such crises and even the property restoration is done without delay!
6.When, few years ago, tsunami of huge magnitude occurred in Japan, one of the Nuclear power station was adversely affected. Obviously, it would be hazardous for people to work their. That's when a group of old men voulentered to work, saying that as they are old and anyhow gonna die, they can take the risk.
7.A disfunctional train was bought back to function just because of a girl who needed that train to travel to school! Talk about priorities!
There are so many more such stories but the message is the same. Human resource is the most powerful one! Good and responsible citizens are foundation of a good nation!
Bharadwaj Vangipuram, B.Tech Civil Engineering, Institute of Aeronautical Engineering (2019)
Originally Answered: What can India learn from modern Japan?
I will narrate you an incident which the head guru of Shri Rama Krishna mutt told us in a motivational speech.
He narrated this incident of him visiting a school in Japan to address their students and deliver a lecture. As most of Japanese students don't understand english there was a translator to translate the whole lecture to them. The lecture was intended to be for a duration of 2 hours but due to the translation it nearly took him 3.5 hours to complete the speech. The whole crowd was still and a lot of patience they heard the speech in a position in yoga like the picture below.
The position is called Seiza.
The same speech and the same guru but the location was in Mumbai. The students well understand english but the crowd became restless because of the 2 hour speech. And to our astonishment when a pigeon came flying near a exhaust fan in the hall the whole crowd stated staring it as if they are seeing the bird for the first time.
This clearly gives an idea what Japan wants India to know. The enhancements in technology and sciences gives luxury but not concentration. In their school they don’t start teaching their students from kindergarten. They train them to sit, concentrate and hear. This helps students a lot in further education.
Anandan, Future Indian President
I see extremely wonderful answers here which are informative and of course brought many of Japan’s merits to our knowledge. I also have an answer to this question. Since most of the points are covered by others, I’ll share a story from Japan I have read an year ago.
What can India learn from Japan?
My answer will be extreme dedication, responsibility and care to its citizens.
Now I will share the story which made me write these points:
Japan Keeps a Train Station Running for Just One Regular Passenger
For the past three years, a train has stopped at the remote Kami-Shirataki station in the far north of Japan just twice a day. At 7:04 am prompt, it takes on a single passenger - a student on her way to school - and brings her home again at 5:08 pm.
She catches the service at 7.04am and returns promptly at 5.08pm daily
Trains stop at the remote station based on the schoolgirl's class timetable
Hokkaido Railway Co. which operates railways in Japan has kept the underused station open for years for a good reason and decided to keep the station open for the girl - who has not been named in media reports - until she graduates from high school.
We must learn from this. The parental care they are providing to their citizens and the importance they are giving to the education of every single child.
Abhilash Chandra Sharma, PhD Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (2023)
I have not visited japan but this was narrated by Ateek Sir.
People in Japan stand is a single line when they stand on the escalator. But in india people stand randomly.
There are many small things which we should follow. These small things changes the people mindset when they look at us.
This is how people stand or go through staircase or elevator . I have not the picture of escalator. But you can relate with that.
This is how people in Japan stand on escalator . It looks good. We should also try to do this.
Metro in Tokyo is as much crowded as metro in delhi.
Edit-1 The reason why people in Japan stand like that, so that people who are in hurry can go immediately. Thanks Nina for pointing this.
Jagriti Raman, Executive at Literary Council and Q-Frat, KNIT. (2017-present)
Japan is one such country, which being a small island has laid its emphasis all over the world since the early era.
It didn’t come from nowhere, rather it has arouse due to following reasons:-
Punctuality- It is customary for Japanese to be punctual. As Japanese are especially concerned about not being late, most have naturally acquired this habit. For example, 20 second delay in train profuse apologies and the conductor bows to passenger as they enter the train car.
(img source: google)
The Education system- Children at 5–6 year age are send for elementary schooling. Moreover, Japanese schoolchildren walk to and from school by themselves, or even taking the trains or buses alone, making them independent since early age. Recently, australian TV channel SBS 2 recently shared a mini-documentary titled “Japan’s independent kids” on YouTube.
Power Napping- It may sound weird, but power napping, a new trend aimed at improving worker efficiency in companies have become popular in Japan. A short nap has been found to restore energy, renew focus and improve mood.
Technology attached to tradition- Its the best part to learn from japan. The country is so developed in technology but still its root in tradition is so deep. Its a captivating country, a kaleidoscope of ancient traditions swirling alongside modern technology. So, bringing up its home made technology, being connected to its traditions and beliefs, creates a respected image in front of the world and among its peer competetors.
Er Sandhya Yadav, former Electronics and Communication Engineering at Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal
Japan is undoubtedly clean and littering and fines for it are completely unheard of. But get this, there are no dustbins either. No trash cans, only recycle bins that are strickly for plastic bottles and soda cans that are bought from nearby vending machines.
You might wonder what they do when have to discard something?
Well, the Japanese carry their rubbish with them untill they reach home or a place that might have a dustbin.
In School, Student themself ensures the cleanliness of the campus and classrooms. Japanese children are taught from very young age to keep their surrounding tidy and household responsibities are not alien to them.
Shivam Jindal, Software Development Intern at Arista Networks
( Reaction of Japanese and Indian when they see a person doing a job well )
Japanese : If he can do it, then even I can do it and I'll do it now!
Indian (pun intended) : If he can do it, then let him do it.
Only if Indian fellows understand.
Shashi Ranjan, Educator
I would like to mention some good things about Japan,which we should learn.1st of all we will talk about Japan's topography.
1.)Hily terrain:-Japan is an Island country. It has difficult terrain. It is situated on conjunction of 3 active plates. That's why it has volcanic mountain and has large possiblity of frequent earthquake,tsunami,and volcanic eruption.
-80℅ of Japan is rugged topography. That's why most of its population lives in east coast because that is the only plain region.
-Small and swift flowing rivers which scars for drinking water.
-Japan has only 20℅ of agriculture land means problem of food security.
-Japan is the largest importer of coal and crude oil,Japan is unlucky in case of natural resources. (Except in fishery zone.)
Besides these complexity, things which makes Japan to stand on top are:
1.)Their attitude to endeavor.
2.)Punctuality:- everybody knows about Japanese trains punctuality,if the train got late even for one minute they send apologizing letter to each and it got published in next days newspaper. Many people don't want to work with Japanese because they are so punctual that even their higher official reach the site exact on time and expect same from others.
3.)Hard working:- read this news from japan Working overtime to death in Japan .
Their govt. made law for ceiling on overtime hours.
4.)Because of scare of land they developed the technology of Indoor Farming,airport on sea,solar plant on sea.
5.)Japan is the only victim of Nuclear attack in this world.The black day of world history. Which throws them back to many decades.But how the fight back is an example.
This much for a small country japan,but many things to be learned.
Shrey Mahajan, a proud Indian
People in Japan work themselves to death. This is no joke.
Karōshi is a specific word in Japanese that means overwork death.
This is a typical day at the streets of Japan where young businessmen and working people pass out on streets because of such high amount of work.
People are excessively working in Japan which is actually causing deaths of many of them.
1456 people died due to overwork in Japan in 2015–16.
To see more of the harsh reality here's a video that covers this horrific reality.
This is a very serious problem and any country that wants to develop should not move at a pace that kills its own citizens. There is no meaning of development of you cannot enjoy life, or for that matter can't have one.
This is something that not only India, but every country must learn from Japan.
I hope I helped.
Shreyas Shahane, studied at Bachelor of Engineering Degrees
Japan is the only Asian country which is actually competing with the West.
Automobile Industry - Toyota, Nissan and Honda are known for their Cars world over.
Electronics Industry - Japanese Companies like Sony, Nintendo, Panasonic, Canon keep churning out awesome gadgets. There are many electronics companies in Japan like Kodak, Casio, Sharp and Toshiba and many more.
IT - Fujitsu is second in terms of revenue after IBM (Just because India has a lot of IT Companies doesnt mean that India is the BEST in IT).
Investment Banking - Nomura competes with the Biggest Investment Banks of the West like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Japan as a country lies in an area of high seismic activity and is prone to many earthquakes. But their buildings don't fall like a pack of cards during earthquakes.
I can go on like this ..... Oh I forgot Bullet Trains
Arjhun Srinivasan, Proud to be an Indian
Originally Answered: What can Indians learn from Japanese?
The incident which i am going to post happened on November 8th 2016.
Indian government can definitely take a leaf out of the efforts done by the Japan’s Public Work Department.
Giant sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan fully restored one week after road collapse
The gigantic hole in downtown Fukuoka, southern Japan, first appeared on November 8th cutting off power, water and gas supplies to parts of the city.
The incident prompted a swift response as construction workers immediately began to fill the hole that spanned the five-lane street.
The road was reopened at 5:00am Tuesday local time — just in time for rush hour.
Reconstructing the road was no easy feat — the massive cave-in spanned more than half an Olympic-size pool near the city's busy Hakata station, with muddy underground water flowing into the hole.
Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima, released a statement apologising for the "great trouble" the sinkhole had caused.
He expressed his gratitude to workers for their efforts completing the restoration work "promptly with safety first".
"From now on I will do my utmost to investigate the cause and compensate for the damage," the statement said.
The cause of the collapse in the city's Hakata district had been linked to ongoing subway construction nearby.
Krupali Donda, Research Intern at Institute for Plasma Research
1.Good manners: This is very important thing I think Indians should learn from Japanese. Manners matter, so smiling, being polite and thanking people is mandatory when asking locals for directions.
2.Clean country: Japan is undoubtedly clean, and littering and fines for it are completely unheard of. But get this, there are no dustbins either. No trash cans, as far as the eye can see, just recycle bins that are strictly for plastic bottles and soda cans that are bought from nearby vending machines.
3.Religious harmony: Despite being the frontrunners of technology and coming up with innovative ideas, traditions and religion still influence the daily life of the Japanese. Businessmen pay their respects at the shrines of deities while excited students buy good-luck charms and fortunes foretelling the future.
4.No room for theft: Despite the notorious existence of the Yakuza, Japan is quite a safe place, and petty crimes like pickpocketing and theft are virtually non-existent. Primary school children are taught from an early age that if they do come across an object that doesn't belong to them, they should attempt to find the owner, or bring it to the nearest police station. I have seen several shop owners run after customers who might have forgotten their bags while buying something at their store.
5.Use of public transport: One of the reasons Japan has such an incredibly good network of public transport is that so many people are prepared to use it. Contrast this with Australia, where people are still obsessed with their cars – in Japan everyone takes the subway, or the train, or the bus, or they cycle.
6.The toilets: Japanese toilets are the best. They're always clean, the seats are heated, and they have more buttons and functions than your parents' stereo.