The Japanese Economy Introduced
The Japanese economy is the world's second largest and they have been the dominant player in Asia for decades. Japan was really the first country in the Far East to embrace the western way of doing business. While other countries in the area where fighting the Western powers the Japanese were working with them. The result was that by the end of the nineteenth century Japan was the only county in Asia that would be considered industrialized. Unfortunately they lost a lot of that lead at the end of the Second World War and they had to rebuild again. This they did with remarkable speed as Japan became the world's second largest economy in a remarkable short time.
Most people view the Japanese economy as being the result of their expertise with high tech electronics. While the high tech sector does play an important role the core of the Japanese economy is and always has been heavy industry. Building things like cars and ships and a whole lot of other things that can be exported to other countries has been the main driver of the Japanese economy all along. A big part of their success is that they do things better than other countries.
The Japanese ability to manage these large industries is a big part of the reason that they have been successful. The way the Japanese do business is very different from the way that it is done in other countries. In Japan industries are dominated by a few large companies small business is almost unheard of. This gives the Japanese the benefits of an enormous economy of scale when they are competing on the world market. The Japanese also have a much greater loyalty to the firm that they work for and the firm shows the same loyalty to the employees. Unlike American companies who would think nothing of laying off employees when times got tough or American employees who would quickly change jobs if they got a better offer this doesn't happen in Japan. In Japan a job usually lasts until you retire.
There are a number of issues that the Japanese economy is facing that are going to put their economy under pressure. One issue is the aging workforce; this is already becoming an issue as the number of workers is declining. In addition the young Japanese don't seem to be interested in working the kinds of hours their parents did. The Japanese are legendary for their work ethic however the next generation don't seem interested in working that hard. Perhaps the biggest problem facing the Japanese economy is the growth of China. This will affect Japan more than any other country. For years Japan has been the major economy in the region, soon that will no longer be the case. When this does happen it will have a profound impact on the economy of Japan.