The Demonstration Effect
The Japanese have borrowed extensively, but with skill and pride. The slogan adopted after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 was "Western technology and Japanese ethos": foreign technology would be adapted to indigenous values, and thereby strengthen the social fabric of Japan. Because the subsequent advances were so remarkable, defeat in World War II came as an especially severe blow to Japanese conceptions. The enormous economic successes of the postwar period, however, have permitted the Japanese to regain their self‐ confidence. Their recovery of poise has been pronounced—in the view of some observers, too pronounced. At any rate, the spirited tone of Japanese documents assessing the economic future differs sharply from the tone of gloom and doom prevalent in most other countries.
The semi-official study Japan in the Year 2000 illuminates the country's current aspirations when it suggests that "Japan has the power to contribute significantly to the stability and vitality of the world from now on in a leading role among industrially advanced nations." After describing the need for an internationalization of Japan, the study goes on to say that "the first basic strategy for various problems emerging in the internationalization process is to render positive service toward revitalizing the world economy." Later it discusses "the practical use of Japanese economic vitality," and it devotes a section to the question of maintaining and promoting vitality