I agree with this. How can someone be creative when the work culture itself is sapping their creativity? The purpose of work should be to support one's family, not to completely overshadow it.
I notice I often get my most creative ideas not while I am at work, but when my mind is relaxing on the way home, when I can actually muse about certain things.
Consciousness evolved as part of a mechanism to more effectively interact with the organisms environment. Consciousness becomes heightened when when it becomes apparent that not all is working as one would want or expect.
Language evolved as one means to help interact with one's environment in social situations.
It's not unique to Japan. Things are changing and there's more discussion.
The US, and all of Western Europe. The reason is simple economics, really. If these western countries bring manufacturing back, it's because the manufacturing will mostly be done by robot machines. The next hurdle will be design, as those occupations migrate elsewhere too.
The hard part has always been the same, ever since the Industrial Revolution. In short, how do the displaced workers add value to society, once their previous occupations become extinct?
That's why you have to keep reinventing yourself, as a country but also as an individual engineer.
The most surprising thing in this article was the notion that Japanese engineers were gathered together and encouraged "to think and speak freely as individuals, not as corporate spokesmen," and that they did so. A generation ago, that might have been the most difficult part of the task.
I don't disagree with the system view at all. It seems clear, though, that if countries are viewed as components of that system, their function has to be allowed to change over time.
It sounds to me like Japan Inc. is attempting to remain where it was in the 1970s and 1980s, wrt consumer electronics. Or at least, that's what the frequent articles on EE Times keep suggesting. And I keep responding that Europe and the US have been through the same shift that Japan perhaps is fighting, and even China and South Korea are not immune to this evolution.
At the bottom of it is, competitiveness for providing individual functions, in this global system, changes constantly. If you're competitve in manufacturing today, you will not necessarily remain competitive tomorrow, because your standard of living may have changed.
Understand. But if your key customers are Japanese CE companies who don't need turnkey solutions but instead demand more tweaks and customizations, you could have totally missed the overwhelming trend in the global market.