South Korea and Japan have a share of hostility that finds roots to their shared history. The present day friction that keeps being experienced between the two countries is attributed to a complex mix of hostility and unprecedented invasion of Japan on South Korean land (Yergin and Stanislaw 78 +). During World War II, Japan vehemently and consistently invaded South Korean territory. Japan, over time, colonized South Korea with innumerable youths taken as slaves, exploited and oppressed the remnants reigning havoc on the country’s economic stance.
Because of the disadvantage that was experienced, Korea made an effort to turn their misfortune into a blessing, investing heavily on the education sector. As part of the emergent newly industrialized economy (NIE), South Korea was condemned to follow the Japanese model; thus becoming an integrate extension of Japan in cross boarder economic influence (Yergin and Stanislaw 92 +). For this reason, it is imperative to note that the Japanese and Korean governments and industrial stance are relatively comparable (Yergin and Stanislaw 101). During World War II and subsequently, Japan, similar to Korea, invested heavily in the industrial sector. Industrial investments created an opportunity for Japan to export its manufactured products in bulk; hence the name tonne-age.
The Korean industrial structure is largely dominated by large conglomerates that are emerging, as well as dominating the region and are commonly termed as Chaebol. This name is derived from the same characters that were used in the pre-war Japanese terminology zaibatsu. A good example would be Samsung, which is famous for its shipments of consumer electronics, financial services, construction, apparel, smart phones, semi-conductors, retail, chemical and medical services. However, the models’ horizontal proclivity makes its industrial stance reliant on importation of major components from other countries especially Japan. For example, in as much as Samsung offers stiff challenge/ competition to its Japanese rivals, it is vital to note that most of its components are in essence imported from Japan.
Japan’s industrial structure on the other hand is vertically inclined making it to adopt the name keiretsu (Yergin and Stanislaw 100). In such, their industrial proclivity is mainly production of vital components for sale to assembly plants abroad. For example, the occurrence of the earthquake cum tsunami in March 2011 dealt a heavy blow to Japan, as well as other countries that rely on Japan for components. Most of the components were washed offshore with others soaked in water and the damage was devastating. To some extent, this heavy reliance on Japan for component production led to massive shortage of gadgets as well as unprecedented delays in release of most technical products as Japan struggled to get back on their feet from the devastation. Current political scenes in Japan are critical of diminutive negligence to SME sector especially in Korea.
Political atmosphere of Japan is inclined towards finding new grounds for its tonne-age production streams and its eventual sustainability. Most political platforms in Japan are inclined towards finding new arenas that will accelerate sales and capture more contracts in foreign countries to accentuate the country’s needs. Interestingly, Japanese politics is centered around production and procurement in addition to ease of trade with other regions including investment in areas that are deemed to be relatively volatile politically. Japan, unlike its Korean counterpart, has been successful in exporting products and services. In some regions, it is hard to walk down the street and miss a Japanese product on sale by the side of the road.
Yergin, Daniel, and Joseph Stanislaw. Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. Print.