From a country that has been successful in copying and copying successfully like Japan, they have transformed themselves into an economy “plagiarized” by other countries.
When it comes to copying and counterfeiting, people often think of China, the factories of the world in many economic sectors. However, in fact, the first country in the world to implement this copying strategy was Japan and it was through it that this country rose to become a great power.
The role of Emperor Meiji
In 1868, Emperor Minh Tri (1852-1912) of Japan carried out a comprehensive social and economic reform named Minh Tri Duy Tan, thereby opening the modernization era of the country. Although there were still many conflicts between factions maintaining the old and new regimes during this period, Japan gradually reformed to avoid the danger of foreign invasion and domination.
With the aim of modernizing the country, the Japanese government in this period quickly embarked on industrial development with a series of preferential policies. In particular, Japan has learned and copied the most quintessential things of the developed economies in the world, at night about the most appropriate research, change and application for its country.
Emperor Meiji (1852-1912)
Since then, Japan has had a series of changes to the West such as establishing a national bank, issuing yen to replace the old currency, building mining industries, investing in infrastructure such as railroads. , Road. The government also encourages people to do business, open markets and promote technological development, and apply new production methods to improve productivity.
In the 1870s, Japan studied the Prussian empire (the predecessor of Germany) in its modernization process to become mighty. The government has set up many pilot state-owned enterprises in primary industries.
Although many companies in the industry have to suffer losses, the Japanese government still provides support to create a prerequisite for industrial development. In this period, individual capitalists did not dare to invest in new industrial businesses due to fear of losses and the government would have to be the pioneers.
Not only did Japan copy the path of economic reform of the West, but Japan also bought and learned, plagiarized British machines. The Japanese government even hires or has preferential policies to persuade foreign engineers to stay and work for them. Although the British government and many Western countries banned it, Japan still sought to bring in excellent foreign engineers to work for them.
In 1843, when the British Empire lifted restrictions on the export of machinery with Japan, Western countries also pressured it to sign copyright agreements. However, Japan ignores these regulations. While foreigners harshly condemn copying techniques, the Japanese call it “the absorption” of new technologies, a characteristic of the spirit of learning.
Cotton factory in Japan
Reading here, probably many people have recognized that there is a remarkable similarity in the modernization process thanks to copying between Japan and China.
Historical records of the West show that the counterfeits of this period from Japan were often low-tech, cheap and looked down upon by other countries. However, it is these knockoffs that meet the needs of the Japanese countryside by targeting the urgent needs of the domestic market. Thanks to that, the fake goods market still lived well and gradually developed, thereby helping the Japanese technology industry step by step go up.
Great power through copying
Entering the 1880s, the Japanese economy began to rise thanks to the textile segment, a business that did not require much capital or high technology but always had a market. Initially, the Japanese government raised the import tax on raw cotton to protect the domestic cotton industry, then gradually shifted the protectionist policies to cotton factories, then gradually spread to other important economic sectors. what the German-Prussian economy was once reforming.
In 1914, the textile and garment segment accounted for 60% of the export rate of Japan. Fortunately, the outbreak of World War I caused industrial disruption in Europe, helping Japanese factories to access more markets with a wide range of products such as textiles, food, canned goods, bicycles …
Entering the 1920s, Japanese industry gradually strengthened and gradually shifted from importing raw materials to secondary products. At this time, state capitalism flourished in Japan, and even though the market was open, the government still intervened strongly to guide the economy.
In the following years, Japan will continue to strengthen the protection of domestic industries, subsidize and develop advanced technologies. At this stage, Japan began to focus on heavy and chemical industries. In order to create advantages for exports, a model of conglomerates (Zaibatsu) was developed.
Japan has copied other country’s successful ideas for self-development
Accordingly, a successful company in the main segment will branch control smaller businesses in other areas, forming a massive business network. With the capital and potential of their core business, these Zaibatsu s easily expand their networks. This is similar when large conglomerates like South Korea’s Samsung today are expanding from their main electronics businesses to other branches.
In addition, the process of industrialization and modernization has helped increase productivity in Japan, creating a premise for the economy to accelerate. Just before World War II, heavy industry attracted 40% of total labor force and contributed 50% of total industry output for Japan.
Economic recovery by imitation
During the economic boom before World War II and the post-war recovery, Japan actively copied Western products without hesitation. Even during World War II, the country quickly plagiarized foreign weapons and adapted it to its military.
Since 1952, Japan’s manufacturing and mining output has grown more than tenfold in two decades, making it the first country to achieve sustained double-digit economic growth. A lot of people think that the country has discovered a new and unbeatable form of economic governance. In fact, Japan only remakes old ideas and develops from the previous Germans.
A series of Japanese imitation products with original foreign products
The Japanese plagiarism path lasted until the 1970s and became a major method of helping the economy recover rapidly after World War II. From household products, food products, comic books to simple things like fashion design, there is a copy in Japan.
Stories about the founders of motorbikes, electronics and many other famous Japanese products all share the same trait of having to learn an apprenticeship, gaining experience spread from the West first. Most of these products are innovative imitators and then gradually research their own technology.
After World War II, Japan began to study American economic models and plagiarize popular products. At first, they did not focus on quality but only learning, then gradually the Japanese improved their products and put strict standards on the top as a competitive advantage.
Thanks to the imitation that in the 1990s, the Japanese economy rebounded successfully with a GDP per capita as high as 23,796 USD, ranked second in the world after Switzerland. This was also the period when the “Made in Japan” brand became a symbol of product quality.
In addition, the national spirit of Japanese people’s trustworthiness also motivates enterprises to invest in technology and improve quality even though they push up prices.
Ironically, the success of the Japanese economy and the quality of its products have led many countries to learn. If we look at Korea and China, we can see somewhere from the Japanese path of wealth. Not only that, but Japanese products are also many copies.
Nowadays, from the position of having to invite experts or product plagiarists, the Japanese have the right to be proud when many countries have to learn from them, Japanese products are “copied” and the economy becomes an example. for many countries to follow.