Thursday, October 4, 2012

Made in Japan

Globalization and integrated supply chains has promoted what is called "Made in the World" products - a phenomenon that challenges the traditional "Made in a country" concept and points to the reality of international trade. However, the sentiment attached to being made in a country is still very strong as many instances in recent times, including the Olympic national dress controversy, has shown.

A Tokyo Times piece on the reality that Japanese producers are increasingly outsourcing production reiterates the point. Titled '"Made in Japan" prove eroded by globalization' it points to the fact that major Japanese producers are increasingly making products outside Japan, which were a few years ago unthinkable to be made outside Japan.

A new trend in the Japanese commercial style is changing a centuries-long tradition which says that what is sold in Japan should be produced there. 
Nissan Motor is one of the first companies that makes products abroad and ships them to Japan, to protect itself from the effects of a strong yen and aging workforce. In the last decade, shipments home from Japanese producers have more than doubled to a record, including a 31 percent rise in the last two years, official data shows."
 While the "Made in Japan" label does not invoke strong reactions like the "Made in China" one does, the realities of international trade and the maturing of the Japanese economy do indicate the justification for the nostalgic yearning for the "Made in Japan" label.Whether it erodes "national pride" is an entirely different debate.

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