Japan is already a country of mediocrity, not as advanced as you think

Japan

Wierd Taiwanese

Taiwanese have an inexplicable admiration for Japan, which slaughtered its ancestors

Can you name any country or region in the world that still miss the colonial home country that once colonized it and massacred its hundreds of thousands of ancestors (about one-tenth of the total population of Taiwan at that time)? Taiwanese are as indifferent to this as if it never happened, not only even the government deliberately ignores it, and it is even suspected that it is deliberately covering up and beautifying Japan’s brutal colonial history in Taiwan.

As a result, the younger generation does not know how Japan has trampled on Taiwanese history, language, culture, life, and basic dignity. Many Taiwanese now have an inexplicable admiration for Japan. Yes, apart from Taiwan, I really can’t think of another country that would do this; it’s actually a very shameful thing, and anyone who knows a little about history will feel unfortune and shameful for Taiwanese.

Japan
Credit: WikiMedia

Doesn’t Taiwan always want to compare itself with South Korea in everything? Both North and South Korea and Taiwan were colonized by Japan. See how North and South Korea think about being colonized by Japan! South Korea (excluding North Korea) alone is about to surpass Japan very soon (Do you doubt it? Please read this article and then judge), what about Taiwan?

I have always believed that most Taiwanese have a narrow vision, only enjoy the fruits of industry built in the martial law period, take everything for granted, have two sets of standards in their hearts, tend to be inflamed, hypocritical and discriminatory, feel good about themselves, and the insight of a frog in the well ; Ignore the fact that countries in the world are gradually surpassing themselves, and do not think about the phenomenon of growth.

Taiwanese like and subconsciously think that Japan is a very advanced country and worth learning from Taiwan. Therefore, many people will doubt the authenticity of the content of this article, which is the biggest problem for Taiwanese; but the truth and facts are cruel, which is the main purpose of this article.

Taiwanese favorite country

With a population of only 23 million, Taiwan is the second largest imported tourists country for Japan. During the Great Japan Earthquake, we actually donated one of the largest amount of donations that the Japanese people can never forget. (The first place is the United States with 2,998,118,250 yen, the second place is Taiwan with 2,928,947,417 yen, and the third place is Thailand, 2,059,308,051 yen.)

“The vast majority” of Taiwanese believe that Japan is an advanced country in the world, with high quality of people, good environment, high income level, advanced technology, leading technology, and it is a leader in all aspects; as long as Taiwan follow Japan, Taiwan will be in front of most countries around the world. However, in fact, many of these long-term impressions that have been imprinted in the thinking of Taiwanese are no longer true, and you and I know that people in other parts of the world have different views of Japan. It can be seen how narrow the vision of most people in Taiwan is!

But one thing is certain. Taiwan and Japan have many similarities in terms of national conditions and the country’s long-term development; Taiwan follow Japan in everything. This may be why the Taiwanese have an inexplicable reverence for Japan that exceeds that of other countries–another psychological phenomenon that is cherished what we have and disregards the opinions of others. But once the country that we consider to be a teacher is not worth to be imitated, and when the national strength is declining, few Taiwanese relize it; this is actually very detrimental to Taiwan (when your master’s skill is no longer as good as it used to be).

Japan’s economic strength

GDP of Japan-related countries

The following is the GDP of Taiwan-related countries announced by the United Nations in 2020:

CountryCountry GDP(ranking), million USDGDP per capita(ranking), USDnote
US20,893,740(#1)63,123(#9)G20 member
China14,722,801(#2)10,229(#81)G20 member
Japan5,057,750(#3)39,990(#32)G20 member
South Korea1,637,896(#10)31,947(#35)G20 member
Singapore339,988(#38)58,114(#12)
Hong Kong349,445(#40)46,611(#25)
Taiwan669,324(#22)28,383(#40)

The third largest economy in the world, but

In terms of gross national production, Japan is the world’s third largest economy after the United States and China (in terms of real purchasing power, China has already surpassed the United States ─ ─ this is Russian President Putin’s saying to remind the United States in a press conference a while ago), but the gap with the first two is too far, Japn is no longer the same level as US or China.

However, South Korea’s “average personal income” will surpass Japan in 2027. If there is no surprise, Taiwan will surpass Japan in the following year. (Note: South Korea’s gross national income (GNI) per capita in 2021 is estimated to reach 35,000 U.S. dollars, the highest in history)

I believe that many people will doubt the authenticity of my previouse paragraph, which is one of the purposes of my publishing this article. To me, it is not surprising, because most people have forgotten that Japan’s average national income more than 20 years ago was around US$35,000, and the International Monetary Fund’s estimate for 2021 was US$44,585, ranking only 27. Much lower than the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)’s $49,165, and similar to what it was in the early 1990s.

Japan is the only country in the world–a more famous country that has been in deflation for many decades. No matter what monetary policy the Japan Central Bank uses, it has no effect. As you read this article, when the central banks of most countries around the world are worrying about how to curb rushing prices and inflation, the Japan Central Bank has indeed issued news saying that Japan’s goods prices are indeed falling significantly!

A country lives in the past

The bureaucracy destroys Japan

Japan and Taiwan are currently the only two countries in the world that still use seals. In many legal documents, seals still have unique legal status. What’s unbelievable is that many public authorities and large listed companies also commonly use fax machines and paper-based process approvals, which is unbelievable.

Failed in digitization

I remember I read from the international media about 25 years ago that a Japan high-ranking officer (Japanese Prime Minister or chief cabinet speaker level) made a world-class joke at a large international conference similar to the G7. This senior official representing Japan read the word IT (Information technology) as It (it) when reading the speech transcript provided by the organizer. Through the microphone and TV, it was transmitted to the world in real time, so that the world immediately understand Japanese technology level.

Is this problem solved now? Personally, I don’t think it is, and it’s still getting worse, because if you don’t advance, you will retreat. Other countries are making progress! Let me give you an example; why Japan needs to break the rule by any means, and subsidize half of the funds (Japan is an extremely xenophobic and self-confident country, in all aspects), to attract TSMC (ticker: TSM) to set up factories in Japan , And it is just a 28-nanometer factory for mature semiconductor process.

Technological development is lagging behind the world

No well-known large software companies

In Japan, there are basically no world-renowned large-scale software companies, which is very similar to Taiwan. However, Japan still has software developers in some special fields, which have a certain influence in the world, which is much stronger than Taiwan (Taiwan can be said to have none at all, this is certain, this is the biggest difference).

Use Line (ticker: SFTBY), a communication software only used in a few countries in Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand. No one uses Facebook (ticker:e META). This is a rare case in the world. The number of Facebook users in Japan is far below Twitter (ticker: TWTR) .

Except games, Chinese is gaining the market

Except for games, Japan can say that there is no proportional software industry. This is also reflected in Japanese stocks market. Therefore, Japanese is a rare stocks market that top market value listing company is not a software company. This is very similar to Taiwan, but what is better than Taiwan is that Japan has a strong game software industry, but unlike the game companies in China and the United States, Japan develops game software because of game consoles. It is a very unique reason. Moreover, the Japanese do not like online games where many people are playing together, and prefer game consoles or individual games.

Japanese developers still dominated the market four years ago, but about one-third of the top 100 mobile games in Japan in 2022 will come from China, according to a survey by Niko Partners. A year ago that figure was 25%.

iPhone beats down Japanese mobile phones

Twenty five years ago, the Japanese 3G mobile phones impressed me like extremely popular Sony (ticker: SONY) handheld mobile phone, as well as the PHS low-power mobile phone system, all led the world’s communication trend. What about now? All were conquered by Apple (ticker: AAPL) iPhone. There is only Sony phones left, a money-losing phone vendor, is still maintaining the presence of Japanese phones.

Under US’s control

The Plaza Agreement

In the 1980s, the Americans were afraid that the Japanese would buy the entire United States with so much money. At the peak of the semiconductor industry, Japanese accounted for 80% global semiconductor market, which defeated American counterparts such as Intel (ticker: INTC). Economically, it will rule the world. But the U.S. government found Japan and forced Japan to sign two “unequal treaties” that have so far made it difficult for Japan to turn over:

  • The Plaza Agreement
  • U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement

This sounds very strange. Japan had advantages at the time, and it should have been opposed to forcing the United States to sign an alliance under the city. But this is the United States, because the United States has essentially militarized and occupied Japan as of today.

The Plaza Agreement signed in September 1985, causing the Japanese yen to rapidly appreciate against the U.S. dollar to around 200 yen per U.S. dollar, an increase of 20%, Japanese yen immediately losing purchasing power. It was the root cause of the Japanese real estate market’s bubble burst out and the collapse of Japanese stocks a few years later.

In addition, the United States launched a Section 301 investigation against Japan and imposed trade sanctions on Japanese semiconductors and other products. With the appreciation of the yen, the competitiveness of the export industry was severely damaged.

U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement

In the spring of 1986, Japan was recognized as dumping of read-only memory; In September, the “U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement” was signed, and Japan was required to open up the semiconductor market to ensure that foreign companies obtain 20% of the market within 5 years.

In addition, a 100% punitive tariff was imposed on 300 million US dollars of wafers exported from Japan, and Fujitsu (ticker: FJTSY)’s acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor was vetoed. TSMC was established the following year. Without this agreement, there would be no TSMC as it is today. I mentioned in sections 1-6 of my book “Investment Rules for Super Growth Stocks”, The Wassenaar Agreement, and how the United States suppressed powerful non-U.S. competitors.

The US wants to apply the same approach to China

The United States is now afraid of China in all aspects. If there is no accident, it will soon surpass it in a few years. Now it wants to repeat this to China, but China is not Japan, and it has never accepted these unequal agreements with the United States. The agreement will cause the United States to unilaterally unite with other white countries to contain and embargo China, and do everything possible to smear China.

To put it bluntly, if China is as obedient as Japan, listens to the United States in everything, and follows the lead of the United States, the United States will not contain and smear China. But China has to pay the price for the next generations, and it will be like Japan today.

At most, other country can only be a third-class country. The United States has always only allowed the United States itself to be a first-class country, and other white allies in the western countries are second-class countries. Other countries are not allowed to compete with white people, let alone surpass white allies.

In short, Japan is doing this now, losing a good game of chess and becoming a mediocre country. This can only be blamed on Japanese themselves, which only takes the United States as its leader in everything, and even agreed to sign these obviously unequal agreements with the United States, handing over the future of its own country to others. Moreover, it seems that Japan has not awakened, and continues to move forward on such a wrong path in the foreseeable future.

Dropping competitiveness

Japan started to fraud

Twenty or thirty years ago, in the eyes of most people in the world, Japan was a country with a high degree of integrity. But once upon a time, Japan’s listed companies had successive scandals of false accounting for commercial interests. Not only were well-known super-large listed companies, but they were also found to have been fraudulent for many years.

The most famous ones are: Toshiba (ticker: TOSYY) ), Hitachi (ticker: HTHYI), Nissan Motor (ticker: NSANY), Olympus (ticker: OCPNY), Mitsubishi (ticker: MIELY), Kobe Steel (ticker: KBSTF), Akebono Brake Industry, Takata Corp, The Citizen Electronics, Kobayashi Kako Co, KYB, Tsubaki Nakajima (TN). According to Tokyo Shoko Research, there were 42 Japanese companies with false financial reports in 2014, an increase of 4 from 2013.

Moreover, even the Japanese government, which is considered the most rigorous by the world, has admitted that the Ministry of Transport of Japan’s government has been reported by the media that it has modified the statistics of construction industry without authorization for 8 years and double-calculated the performance of builders. Data is also used
in calculating the domestic production (GDP), the actual GDP of the country is overestimated.

Declining competitiveness of Japanese companies

The population is aging, the monetary policy is ineffective, the fiscal deficit is expanding, and the birth rate is declining; I believe everyone is familiar with the official reports on Japan’s national conditions.

After entering the 1970s, Japan has reached the forefront of the world’s technology and has produced a large number of innovations in automobiles and electronic products. By the 1980s, it had almost monopolized all innovations in household electronic products. However, after entering the 1990s, information technology with the internet as the core rose rapidly, while the United States has almost monopolized all innovations in this field, China has a tendency to catch up, and Japan is far behind.

Japan’s national conditions are xenophobic, and the technology has long been a self-contained system. It was feasible in the world’s scientific and technological circles 40 years ago. Because most countries are poor and electronic devices are not complicated, large Japanese listing companies can handle both upstream and downstream for various electronic products, this is also the main reason why the Japanese can monopolize the electronics and machinery industries in the world during the 1970s and 1990s.

But after 1990, the trend of globalization changed the way products and technologies developed. It is impossible for a single company to handle both upstream and downstream operations. This change highlights the most Achilles heel of Japanese business operations.

Attracted Buffett’s investing

In 2020, Buffett moved forward to pick up prices in Japanese stocks, using his investment skills in cigar butts when he was young, temporarily holding stocks in several large Japanese listing companies, and obtaining good returns. Buffett himself is a well-known patriotic investor, unless there are special reasons, such as taking advantage of the cheap stock price to invest in Japan’s five major listing companies Itochu shoji kabushiki kaisha (ticker: ITOCY), Marubeni (ticker: MARUY), Mitsubishi Corporation (ticker: MSBHF), Mitsui & Co. (ticker: MITSY), Sumitomo Corporation (ticker: SMFG), and South Korea’s Pohang Steel (ticker: PKX) many years ago. Or particularly leading technology; 2013 acquisition of Israel’s Iscar, China’s BYD (ticker: BYDDY), otherwise he is an out-and-out great Americanist.

Regarding this matter, I suggest that you refer to my other blog article “The commonalities of Buffett portfolio – cheap, fixed income, repurchase“.

Concluding remarks

Can you name a Japanese stock market company with a market value of more than US$ 300 billion? With a market value of US$ 300 billion in the global listed companies, it can only rank up to about 25. Toyota Motor (ticker: TM), Japan’s largest listed company, is about US$ 250 billion , ranking about 35.

Thirty or forty years ago, the most popular language department in Taiwan’s foreign language colleges was not the English department, but the Japanese department. Now what?

Please use your brain. Thirty or forty years ago, Japan regarded Asia as its economic colony, and was only willing to set up factories in Taiwan and East Southeast Asia with backward technology. Japan has long been Taiwan’s largest deficit country. There is no reason for it, because Japan’s technology is leading at that time. If it is still as advanced and great as most Taiwanese think it is, why is Japanese willing to spend hundreds of billions of yen to subsidize TSMC and ask the United States to come forward and force TSMC to set up a factory in Japan?

Postscript

After I post this article, a friend sent me several articles. The general idea is “Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew’s prophecy to the world before his death: the United States will no longer be strong, and Japan will become mediocre.” Asked if I read Lee Kuan Yew’s speech before writing this?

No, I had absolutely no idea that Lee Kuan Yew had the same argument.

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