Galápagos syndrome: keep the world out of Japan!


Recently in business meetings I have noticed more often Japanese uniqueness is explained as originating from the Galápagos syndrome. When Japanese are developing a product which evolves isolated from the world markets, the Galápagos syndrome occurs. According to Eisuke Sakakibara (previous Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs) Japanese companies and citizens have over the last 15 years become more inward-looking. An increased number of young people are reluctant to study abroad or likewise, employees who refuse to be posted to foreign countries. Eisuke Sakakibara believes not only the world, but Asia is leaving Japan behind in many fields. Not many people may already realize it, but Japan as a nation is suffering from Galápagos syndrome. To make things worse, if continued this way Japan’s power and status could decline. He points out that the symptoms of this decline can already be noticed. As China, South Korea and other neighboring countries are advancing rapidly, the downward trend will probably accelerate and Japan is left behind.
As a child I was dreaming about living one day in Galápagos. For the first time in my life I wish from the bottom of my heart that my dream will not come true!

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤).

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