Re: Let’s look at the world by a globe and think about various things February 4, 2022 

February has already started from this week, and on the first day, it is said that plum-trees with white blossoms came out in Tokyo 10 days later than usual. ‘Season words’ representing February are the beginning of spring, early spring, and so on, and warmness of spring is aware in some way. However, February is a severe period for students preparing for an examination.
I recall my memory 61 years ago that I took a limited express of Tokaido Main Line called ‘Hato’ and went to Tokyo by alone, with my indescribable anxiety and feeling that I wanted to be free from preparing for an examination as soon as possible. Incidentally, in those days Tokaido Shinkansen was not opened to traffic (in 1964 going into operation), and even a limited express needed seven and half hours between Osaka and Tokyo. And I recall my memory just like yesterday that in those days, a telephone was limited to a fixed-line phone, and it took long to inform my parents that I passed the exam, and my mother told me later that ‘she was so anxious about the result of the exam that she could not settle down.’

By the way, do you have a glove around yourselves? When I look at a globe, I can find various things. A plane map which we are usually looking at differs by each country, and the country concerned is located in the middle of the map. The starting point of longitude is Great Britain, and in its map, Japan (east longitude 135 degrees) is located on the right, and that is why Japan is located in the Far East. Therefore, Japan is called as ‘the Land of Rising Sun’ and it seems to me that a national flag of Japan also reflects this matter.

On the other hand, on a glove each country has no fixed position, and once we revolve it the position and angle of each country changes with perfect freedom. If you turn it upside down, you can see completely different shape. In other words, if we change our viewpoint from horizontally to three-dimensionally or vertically, the area of each country, the distance between countries, and the relation of the north and south are quite obvious. In this case, there are various ‘discovery’. For example, the distance and positional relation between Japan and neighboring countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan, and so on, between Ukraine, Iran, Russia and Europe amid the present intensifying tension, and between Japan and Tonga where a submarine volcano erupted the other day.

By the way, I am afraid we, human beings including myself, can see things only through our own capacity or yardstick. Ironically, it is said that ‘The flog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean’. For instance, Japan has a narrow territory, and Japanese tend to grasp things according to this sense. On the other hand, we have preconceptions that we feel only overseas countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan, and Philippines as very far countries even if only about one hour flight or about three hours flight at the most by plane. You may laugh at me because of globalization, but when I worked in New York, I got the letter from my Japanese friend saying that ‘Please do me your favor that my friend has transferred to San Francisco’. But between New York and San Francisco, it takes six and half hours by plane, and there is three hours of time difference. This is almost equal to the distance between Japan and Singapore (about seven hours flying time).

It is quite important to change way of thinking and viewpoint in the business world too.
In other words, we add ‘reversal idea’ besides ‘horizontal and vertical way of thinking’. One may say that ‘If pushing does not work, try pulling’. In this regard, I like the wording by Mr. Ginzo Korekawa called the last speculator in Showa period that ‘Buy when others sell; Sell when others buy’. This does not mean ‘gambling’ but means ‘resistance dealing’ ‘blue ocean strategy’ putting in today’s word, and in other words, ’Please hold your own originality not to copy and follow others and other companies thoughtlessly’. I have always given attention to this spirit when I managed my business. ‘Doing what everyone else does and following a precedent’ or ‘Even if it’s red, it’s safer to cross together’ is a deep-rooted tradition in Japan. It seems to me that this way of thinking brings ‘excessive competition → low productivity → low return rate’, and causes the background that animal spirit does not tend to come up and as a result startup and unicorn does not tend to grow.

I eagerly want to ask children to learn not only ‘horizontal and vertical way of thinking’ but also ‘reversal idea’ from childhood, by looking at the world by a globe. Of course, regardless of your age, I have to state that constant endeavor expanding your capacity and yardstick is absolutely necessary.

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