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Japanese Studies Programme Paper
The Production of Technologists and Robotization in Japan
Michio Morishima
January 1985
Paper No' JS/1985/119:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: japan; robotization; technologists; contractual society; education.

When Japan embarked upon her forced march to build a modern nation in 1868 the resource upon which she was most able to rely was her labour force. This was of a considerable size, and certainly not of a poor quality. According to Ronald Dore, at least 40% of Japanese males at that time had received a basic level of education. In international terms this was a very high figure for the time. Furthermore, the Japan of that time had already more or less fulfilled many of the preconditions enabling the appearance of modern companies and corporations and guaranteeing their domestic development. The language of Tokyo was already in essence the country's standard language, in common use, at least as the official language, almost everywhere throughout the country. Something else of considerable importance was that both samurai and merchants regarded it as a virtue not to break their word; hence it was easy to establish a contractual society. Furthermore, they were all well aware that it was not a good thing to get public and private mixed up.