Re: The importance of fostering human beings (2)~Investment in people is important~  June 10, 2022 

 On June 7, the Basic Policy for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2022 (“Big-Boned Policy”), which is a basis of economic and fiscal management of the Japanese Government and budget proposal for the next fiscal year, was approved by the Cabinet meeting. As one of the pillars, it put emphasis on “investment in people” held up by the Prime Minister Kishida and investing 400 billion yen for three years was incorporated. In addition, this is the first time to take up “investment in people”.

Japan has traditionally advocated “manufacturing nation”. And the manufacturing industry has tried to expand market share of domestic market having 120 million population, and had a deep-rooted thought that it earnestly made “high quality and high function” goods competing with others. Its investment has put emphasis solely on “Hard”, and the investment in “Soft” like “human resource development” has been of secondary importance.

Incidentally, Japanese manufacturing industry has had the same strategy in overseas market, and adopted a unilateral idea that it was able to sell goods with high quality and function. On the other hand, the manufacturing industry in Korea and China has made a thorough investigation and study of local market, and made goods fitting with local needs (preference, custom, and standard of living) and moreover sold them cheaply. As a result, as is well known, Japanese manufacturing industry of home appliances, mobile phone, and so on has lost market share significantly in emerging nations.

As stated above, both Japan and Japanese companies have put emphasis on technological development, but neglected to foster “human resources who can work on a global scale” and “human resources who have management ability”, in other words, “investment in people”. Therefore, human resources who are appreciated on an international level are lacking not only in private sectors but also in government and public institution, and this contributes to reduce Japanese presence in the world.

Management resources are supposed to be “talented people, products or services and capital”, but recently soft power called “information and technology” is added to these. Among them, it is said all times and places that “talented people” are important. For instance, in a Chinese classic, Guanzi, there is a teaching “If you look ahead 100 years, foster human beings”. There is a phrase “No amount of luck triumphs geographical advantage. No amount of geographical advantage triumphs human harmony.” in Mencius’s memoirs, too. And in Japan, Shingen Takeda, a warrior in the Sengoku era, composes “The people are your castle, your stone walls, your moat. A compassion is an ally, and a vengeance is an enemy”.

And Isoroku Yamamoto, who is a Marshal Admiral and one of the figures that I respect, left a word that it is necessary to foster human beings that “Show them, tell them, let them try, and give them compliments or they don’t do anything.” and moreover “I am watching them with gratitude, and if I don’t trust them, they will not grow”. In other words, “taking the initiative to set a good example, patience and tolerance, appreciation, and consideration” are necessary to foster human beings.
Incidentally, he refers to the importance of “patience” in “the man training” that “You may have difficulties. You may have what you really want to say. You may have complaints. You may get angry. You may be close to tears. But it is the man training that you subdue these feeling”.

I am nothing like as good as him, but my motto is that “I leave to others what others can do, and I challenge what others can’t do”. Because, that way, I think that they will grow, and I myself will grow too. As a result, the organization will be activated, and then the business results will also grow.
In any organization, it is natural that “quality” of each person’s work right for his position and title is required. Therefore, even Japanese companies are increasing to shift from traditional “membership-type employment” (lifetime employment type) to “job-type one” (functionally type).

(P.S.) Resource prices have tended to rise by various reasons for a long time, but Russia’s invasion to Ukraine has been added, and the wave of price rise of not only energy relations such as oil, natural gas, and coal but also grains centered on wheat, feed and so on is surging globally. And acceleration of inflation is currently a concern. The reason why inflation is scary is that the value of cash and savings will decrease and it will threaten our lives. Mild price rise promotes economic growth, but once it is intensified, we can’t calm down easily. In Japan, the movement of price rise in wide ranged consumable goods is coming. Among these, I am worried about the future rise of the electricity whose price is keeping low for policy reasons along with securing the electricity supply.
The United States has already shifted its policy to raise the interest rate and EU seems to head for monetary tightening soon. Therefore, the World Bank predicts that global growth rate in 2022 will be 2.2 %, and made a downward revision by 1.2 % compared to the previous prediction as of January. At the same time, it is worried about future economic trend such as the risk of stagflation, a situation in which the inflation rate is high, and the economic growth rate slows, and so forth.  

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