The Challenges of Success

A new current sweeps across Japan, but the old ways still die hard

The Japanese capacity for change is nothing short of astounding. When Commodore Matthew Perry sailed a squadron of U.S. naval ships into Japan's waters in 1853 and demanded an opening of trade, the Japanese reacted swiftly. They cast off 250 years of rigid isolation and rapidly transformed their island nation from a feudal to a modern state. The Japanese again proved chameleon-like following their humiliating surrender at the close of World War II. Under the watchful eye of General Douglas MacArthur, the head of the occupation forces, they abandoned militarism, established their unique brand of capitalism, and quickly turned the country...

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