There is a small island country in East Asia bordered by sea of Japan to the west and the pacific ocean to the east .The country’s two thirds terrain is mountainous and less than one eighth of land is suitable for agriculture. It has very few natural resources and imports most of its raw material, but interestingly very rich in human resource since its people are intensely hard working and very much dedicated towards their nation’s prosperity .This is the country called JAPAN.
Japan is the only country in Asia able to compete with the highly advanced countries of western Europe and USA. It is the only Asian member of the G-8 .It is highly developed nation and has completed all the stages of demographic transition which means that it has reached at the highest level of development .It is highly industrialized and urbanized with 90 percent of its population living in urban areas. The country’s birth and death rates are very low and it is the 10th most populous country in the world. Japan’s education system played a major part in the country’s recovery and rapid economic growth in the decades following the end of World War II.
The Japanese population is well educated and it is due to country’s large pool of highly educated and skilled individuals that was largely responsible for its post war economic growth. Today it is the third largest national economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. It has large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, textiles, machine tools etc.
Some of the famous Japanese brands are Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Honda, Toyota, Mazda. They have a reputation of making high technology products. It is a leading nation in scientific research in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. The country ranks 2nd among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index. It leads in fundamental research, has produced 22 Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry and medicine. Its scientists and engineers have contributed to the advancement of agricultural sciences, electronics, industrial robotics, semiconductors, life sciences and it leads in the world in robotics production. The Japanese robot-ASIMO is the World’s. Most advanced humanoid robot. It was japan which used the latest technology and converted the rail line between Osaka and Tokyo, covering a distance of 515 km into a high speed track. This ambitious project was completed in the year 1964.The superfast train known as Hikari express bullet train reduced the journey time to less than 3hrs against 6 and half hrs was a revolution in high speed trains.
This is the country where atomic bombs were dropped by US on its two cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 resulting into mass destruction. But the people of this country changed its whole scenario due to intense hard work for their nation’s prosperity. The period of overall real economic growth from 1960’s to 1980’s has been called the Japanese post war ECONOMIC MIRACLE.
Japan is notorious for its intense work culture and there is a situation that people die due to intense work termed as karoshi. It is really surprising that Japan is a country where people actually die due to intense work.
KAROSHI is death by overworking and is commonly caused by heart attack and stroke as well as suicide brought by high level of stress from working 60 hrs or more per week. Matsuri Takahashi’s case - the suicide of an overworked young woman brought Japanese work environment into question. She was 24 years when she committed suicide on Christmas day .she was doing excessive overwork and getting less than 2 hrs of sleep per day before she committed suicide. There has been number of cases of Karoshi that is why many Japanese companies are reducing work hours and providing amenities such as sports facilities, gyms. The Japanese government has made it compulsory for employees to take a minimum of 5 days leave from work in order to reduce the stress level.
Let’s introspect; are we contributing towards our society, are we dedicated towards our work. Our society is generating a pool of educated youth who wish only to achieve a high status in society without making a contribution towards it .We are well aware of our work culture and the need of hour is that we should change our attitude towards our work let’s do our respective jobs with passion not with compulsion. Let’s try to bring a change collectively at each level. Let’s focus on change not on results because if we focus on results we will never change however by focusing on change we will get the results.
Nargis Bashir is pursuing M Sc in Geography, University of Kashmir.