Lebedeva I. Japanese quality: economic aspects
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Japanese quality: economic aspects
by I.P. Lebedeva
High quality of goods produced in Japan is based on a combination of three major elements: high-tech production level, manufacturing process management and the Japanese manpower. It is the characteristics of manpower shaped by national culture that play a crucial role.
Key words: quality, consumers, market, machine engineering, technical level, manufacturing process management, manpower.
Economics provides a number of approaches to define a notion of quality ranging from a simple technical meaning that sees quality as zero defects product to a complex meaning that understands quality as a set of company management methods which assure quality and competitiveness of goods and service. This article is based upon a pragmatic approach, i.e. an approach that most closely coincides with quality understanding shared by common people as consumers of goods and services. In other words, quality means a product matching with consumer expectations (ranging from design to functionality).
High quality of Japanese product and mainly the manufactured one is well known all over the world. In the middle of 1950s when the postwar reconstruction was finished Japan being almost completely deprived of raw materials and fuel sources has taken course to a deep economy modernization and first of all manufacturing industry as it was the industrial exports income that covered costs of necessary goods import such as raw materials, fuel, medicine, food, technique, equipment, etc. By the late 1960s Japan was already the world's second manufacturer (following the USA) and managed to keep the position for almost half a century. Japan's niche in global manufacturing and global export has been filling with increasingly sophisticated products. While medium level complexity high-tech industry (shipbuilding, iron and non-ferrous industry, chemistry and petro chemistry, plastics industry) were principal directions of international specialization in the late 1960s, by the late 1980s Japan was the world's leading manufacturer and exporter of high-tech knowledge-intensive industries, first of all mechanical engineering. Later focus on the development and assimilation of high-tech knowledge-intensive products became the main direction of Japan's national industries applied not only to machine engineering but also to old basic industries (based on product line diversification).
Japan's modern industrial might is based upon final processing and assembling sectors represented by a vast network of machinery production. Japanese machine engineering industry is mainly high-tech branches and productions (such as computer, communication media, telecommunication equipment, electronic components, space vehicles and robotic engineering, etc.) and medium-tech (car manufacturing, electronics and home appliances engineering, heavy engineering, NC machines engineering and shipbuilding, etc.). The products of these sectors form the basis of Japan's export (which is around ⅔ of total volume). It is not an overstatement to say that Japan owes a deep-rooted image of high quality products to the engineering industry although it has to be mentioned that other sectors of Japanese industry be it either exporting or covering needs of the internal market, serving consumer or investment demand produce goods that meet requirements of most demanding clients and most sophisticated consumer's taste. In other words all Japanese products, be it robots or umbrellas, are of perfect quality.
As far as we know there is no integral performance index for goods and services. However, a considerable number of statistical proofs can be found for high quality of Japanese products.
First of all it is the speed with which goods marked "made in Japan" conquered global markets including markets of highly developed countries with highly competitive and severe product quality demand. As early as 1960-80s of the last century Japan had to go through "market wars" with USA and some European countries; these "wars" were caused by increasing discontent of local manufacturers by the fact that the markets were full of Japanese goods which were much better than the products of local manufacturers in terms of quality-price ratio. These "wars" normally ended with so called voluntary export restraints (i.e. obligations on export supplies limitation within a certain period of time) imposed by Japanese companies under administrative pressure and various barriers raised to limit Japanese goods access to the markets of developed countries.
It is fair to say that back in those years the Japanese companies used such competitive advantage as considerably low-cost labor apart from product high quality of products. It is indicative that later on as labor costs in Japan increased reaching American level and leaving Europe behind the goods manufactured by Japanese companies continued to flow into global markets even having lost their price advantage. This became possible as Japanese companies put at stake the quality of goods as a foundation of their competitive power.
Quality is a subjective concept to a great extent. It is consumer assessment of goods or service that depends on the level of satisfaction received, i.e. how much the product managed to meet their expectations. In other words, consumers' commitment to "vote" for a product or service with their wallet is the real quality index.
The positions Japanese companies gained within the USA market is one of the brightest product quality proof. The USA is not only the world's major and most developed economy but also a country with free market and competition principles represented to the fullest extent and with "assessments" given by the market (i.e. consumers) to any product more objective and adequately reflecting its merit and flaws.
It is well known that one of the deepest and most painful problems of economic relations between Japan and the USA is a huge trade imbalance which means Japan's ever-exceeding export to the USA over import from the USA. In 1990-2000s this imbalance rated from USD 40 to 80 billion per year. Around 80% of Japanese export to the USA is car engineering products and huge imbalance in the trade of these products actually caused chronic imbalance within the trade between Japan and the USA. The data given below show the scale of the imbalance herein:
Transport engineering products - USD 39.9 billion (Japanese export - USD 44.3 billion, American export - USD 4.4 billion),
including cars - USD 32.3 billion (USD 32.6 billion and USD 0.3 billion respectively);
general engineering products - USD 17.4 billion (USD 25.5 billion and USD 8.1 billion);
electric engineering products - USD 8.2 billion (USD 16.1 billion and USD 7.9 billion);
precision engineering products - (-) USD 0.6 billion (USD 6.6 billion and USD 7.2 billion).
Transport engineering products - 40.2 billion US dollars (Japanese export - 44.2 billion US dollars, American export - 4.0 billion US dollars);
including cars - USD 30.3 billion (USD 30.9 billion and USD 0.6 billion respectively);
general engineering products - USD 21.5 billion (USD 30.1 billion and USD 8.6 billion);
electric engineering products - USD 8.4 billion (USD 16.1 billion and USD 7.7 billion);
precision engineering products - (-) USD 0.4 billion (USD 7.3 billion and USD 7.7 billion).
According to the data, mutual shipments were balanced only in precision engineering product trade (RTD equipment and optics mostly) while other groups and especially transport engineering industry show that Japan gains superiority. On the whole the difference between Japanese and American scope of supply of machine engineering products made USD 64.1 billion in 2010 and USD 69.7 billion in 2011 (USD 80 billion in the last pre-crisis years).
Apart from cars and auto components Japan supplies to the American market such goods as various office equipment, engines and motors, metal-working and metal-cutting machinery, various construction machinery, mine equipment, heating and cooling units, pumps and centrifuges, handling machinery, high-tech electronics products (high value-added parts, digital cameras, flat panels, digital adaptors, control equipment, computers, communication facilities, etc.).
Taking into consideration high quality of Japanese products and huge demand they meet in the USA market one may assume that such imbalances in the Japanese-American trade will continue hereafter even though Japanese companies are trying to smooth them down replacing export of some goods by launching production branches.
The way the Japanese automotive companies broke into the USA market is probably the most spectacular example of recognition of the Japanese product high quality among American consumers. Throughout the years automotive industry has been one of the pillars of the American economy with three major companies (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) fully dominating in the local market representing the country's economic power and the cars they produced were not only symbols of the American dream but the national pride of the citizens as well.
It is no wonder that in the late 1970s when the first Japanese cars appeared in the USA the reaction of most Americans was negative and even hostile. The memories of the Pacific War were still fresh where Japan had the image of the major enemy for the USA. It even came to street protests with Japanese cars burning. Of course, typical for those days rather insolent attitude of the Americans towards the Asians in general and the Japanese in particular had played its part. However, due to high quality of the products the Japanese companies managed to turn this attitude around and currently the Japanese car brands (both imported from Japan and manufactured by local plants of the Japanese companies) account for 40% (!) of the USA automobile market. It is worth noting that the Japanese companies have even avoided massive advertising of their products for a long time not to aggravate the situation. Their major "advertising agents" were the customers themselves who could share their impression of Japanese cars with their friends, relatives and acquaintances. The demand for Japanese cars grew so rapidly that the dealers had to introduce a pre-order system with delivery waiting period that could last for months. Experienced American customers were ready to make these sacrifices because in addition to such components of quality of Japanese cars as nice design, excellent functionality, reliability and efficiency they also got a smooth system of aftersales service. Such a component of quality of Japanese cars as extremely small operating cost (compared to American cars) was another pleasant surprise for the Americans.
European markets also give credit to the quality of Japanese goods. Similarly to the USA the major share of the Japanese exports to these markets (over 70%) is represented by machine engineering products. Furthermore only precision engineering supplies are more or less balanced while all other export groups are creating significant surplus for Japan. In 2010 overall machine engineering product export to Europe exceeded counter deliveries by USD 38.2 billion, including USD 13.9 billion in general machine engineering, USD 12.2 billion in transport engineering, and USD 11.1 billion in electrical engineering. In 2011 mutual delivery surplus in overall machine engineering made USD 39.6 billion, including USD 16.0 billion in general engineering, USD 11.4 billion in transport engineering and USD 10.8 in electrical engineering.
Almost all Japanese machine engineering products are worldwide compatible but Japan's strong point is car manufacturing (both end product and parts), as well as electronic supplies (high-end product with high value-added share).
As mentioned above China excelled Japan at industrial production volume becoming the second industrial empire in the world and moving Japan to the third place. We however suppose that the meaning of such switch should not be overestimated as well as dramatized as it was only a result of quantification. In terms of lineup and quality of the Japanese and Chinese products it is evident that there is a huge distance between the two countries and that these two "factories" occupy completely different business segments within global trade and industry.
It is well known that the main international specialization of modern Chinese industry is represented not only by various branches of consumer goods manufacturing, chemistry and metal industry but also a rather large complex of machinery production. Although China is Japan's direct competitor in a number of machine engineering products, the reality is that consumers mostly prefer Japanese products regardless of its higher price. The reason is consumers' firm confidence in high quality of the Japanese products and their cautious attitude to the Chinese products which are worldwide considered to be cheap but of lower quality.
In order to prove the thesis on the difference of technological segments Japanese and Chinese machine engineering industries occupy and distance between these two countries in terms of product quality let us refer to the calculation data given by the specialists of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. Based on the assumption that a product cost fully reflects its quality within an open market based economy, they compared American market prices for machine industry goods imported from Japan and China. The calculation was made within same product categories using HS-code. Four types of gradations in price difference for Japanese and Chinese products were introduced: Japanese products 5 times more expensive than Chinese ones, Japanese products 2-5 times more expensive than Chinese ones, price difference makes 1-2 times, price difference makes less than 1.
Calculation results showed that in 2010 there was a significant difference in prices in favor of Japan for the most part of goods. For instance, within a capital goods group price difference was over 5 times higher for over half of products and 2-5 times higher for ¼ of products; within a component group products with over 5 time price difference made ¼ and products which are 2-5 times higher in price made around 30%; within a consumer goods group the relevant proportions were ⅓ and ¼. On the other hand, only 20% within consumer goods group, 12% within capital goods group and ¼ of component group prices for Japanese and Chinese products were nearly the same.
It is evident that different price categories of Japanese and Chinese goods reflect still existing distinction in terms of product quality starting from technical ideas embodied in the products up to products reliability (that determines a consumer's losses throughout the product use process). And even though the quality of Chinese products is improving gradually on the ground of rapid economic growth it makes no doubt that Chinese industry has a long way ahead until it reaches the performance level of Japanese enterprises.
So how did Japanese companies manage to gain and sustain the reputation of higher quality manufacturers? Why a "made in Japan" label has become a worldwide quality and reliability symbol? It should be noted that Japanese industry produces not piece goods but most products are released in series and sometimes in multimillion lots.
It is clearly that the answer lays in some peculiarities of the Japanese production system. In our opinion there are three operative factors within the main elements of this system: high-tech production facilities, specific production engineering, special quality of Japanese manpower. Let us now take a closer look at these factors.
High-tech production facilities
It is obvious that high quality of the Japanese industrial products is primarily provided by high-tech level of production facilities. It is ensured by companies' enormous outlay for R&D and equipment improvement.
Expenses of the Japanese companies for R&D are impressive. Back in the years preceding the world financial and economic crisis over JPY 13 trillion per year was allocated (i.e. about USD 130 billion). Average R&D cost/sales ratio (research intensity) in manufacturing sector makes about 3%, yet in some sectors this index is significantly higher: in electrical engineering industry - about 5%, car engineering industry - 4.5%, precision engineering industry - over 7.5% .
Over the last years total amount of investment in industrial plant equipment made about JPY 16-17 trillion per year (USD 160-170 billion) with machine engineering sector amounting to 45%. Less than 30% of this amount goes on expansion of production facilities (mainly already existing plants as new construction activity is very low) while permanent assets are used for equipment improvement and efficiency promotion and maintenance of equipment.
The point to be emphasized is that almost 100% of the equipment used is home-produced. As Y.D. Denisov mentions after the World War II Japan was a kind of polygon for numerous new types of machinery and equipment bringing technology to perfection and top performance. For instance, being an ultimate world leader in production of industrial robots Japan has leadership in its operation as well: over 335 thousand various robots are currently used at Japanese plants which makes over ⅓ of the world robot population.
Integrated quality control function technology also plays a great role in assurance of Japanese product high quality as it provides thorough dimensional inspection on each stage of production essentially eliminating fluctuations which may result in some defects. However, most measurements are aimed not at the control of a product but at the operating functions of the machines and equipment, including equipment troubleshooting. These possibilities are embedded as early as the design stage.
The role played by the state, i.e. Japanese Industrial Standard Committee, in Japanese quality production and technology should also be mentioned. Apart from numerous rules and regulations established for consumer goods and aimed at protecting life and health of people, environment, etc., the Committee controls various aspects of production technology. Technical regulations in Japan cover several thousands of industrial products, including machines and equipment.
Production engineering in the Japanese industrial companies manufacturers has some special features.
First of all, it is aimed at small lots of various products, frequent switch of product line and manufacturing a wide range of items within a single production line. Technically it is possible due to use of multifunctional facilities equipped with various microelectronic devices with quick-changeover capability.
Secondly, it is aimed at minimizing stock of parts and materials used in manufacturing process and at real time delivery control ("kamban" or "just in time" pattern). It has become possible due to a special type of relations between head companies and vendors, i.e. long-term close collaboration beginning from the very first steps of the product development.
Thirdly, a particular feature of this system is a total and permanent quality control over the whole production process (starting from quality control of materials to be used for part manufacturing to end-product quality control) with all staff categories involved (primarily production workers). However, defects detected are removed by various production branches in close cooperation (parts manufacturers, production workshops, design departments, etc.).
Finally, the fourth distinctive feature of the Japanese system is its immaculate state of production facilities. It is ensured not only due to equipment control carried out by specially trained staff and wide use of proactive maintenance practice but also owing to machine operators who monitor equipment condition and are able to fix minor defects.
This type of production process operations and management is powered by an authentic Japanese philosophy of quality management known as kaizen (continuous improvement). Kaizen was introduced to the world in 1986 when a Japanese scholar Imai Masaaki released the English version of his book "Kaizen. The key to Japan's Competitive Success". Since the Kaizen concept has been widely discussed by Russian scholars we will mention just key points of the concept without going into details.
Production process improvements should rather be based upon numerous minor changes offered by the company employees than upon major radical R&D changes.
As changes are introduced directly by the workers and are not radical they can be easily implemented.
No investment is needed for minor insignificant production process improvements (while radical changes which require great investment in R&D and purchasing equipment).
All employees should always stay in search of new ways to improve their work. It promotes responsibility and work motivation.
In Japan kaizen concept resulted in widespread occurrence of various forms of rationalization activity among employees (quality control groups and minor groups, zero-defect production movements, etc.).
However Japanese and world experience showed that the company's competitiveness and ability to produce high-quality products or services depend not only on well-organized production process but on the efficient company management system in general. In other words, every part of management hierarchy must be penetrated with the kaizen concept. Without going into details of the subject that has been fully covered in studies of Russian Japanologists we should only add that there are two national quality awards in Japan that are given to companies for development and improvement of quality control methods within the whole company. The first of them is Deming Award which evaluates the efficiency of implementation of TQM (Total Quality Management) principles and methods to improve product quality, increase labor productivity, sales and income and lower production costs. Throughout almost 60 year history of Deming Award the prize has been given to almost all leading production enterprises in Japan. The other award - Japan Quality Award established in 1996 - aims its participants not as much at winning the competition as at self-estimation of a company's capacities in terms of criteria offered by award promoters. The motto of this competition is building consumer-oriented quality management system. The award has three categories: industrial production, service sector and small businesses.
Speaking about important role of high-tech production facilities and peculiarities of Japanese production engineering in assurance of Japanese product quality it is also necessary to pay attention at the following aspects. Globalization era with its intense technology and know-how exchange brings about a certain equation and distinction fading among countries especially those technically and industrially developed. On the other hand, Japanese system of production management became a focus of foreign scholars and experts as early as 1980s and many elements of this system are still being practiced in different countries. In other words, these two components of high quality products made in Japan are not something unique or entirely Japanese. The reason of its extreme efficiency in Japan lies in their combination with the third component that is purely Japanese phenomenon. It is referred to the Japanese manpower.
Japanese manpower is a phenomenon of the modern world. And it is not about a level of education or working skills (many other countries also have high well-educated and qualified manpower resources) but it is about a special attitude of the Japanese towards labor which form such national character features as discipline, responsibility, diligence, striving for extension of knowledge and advanced training, readiness to go against one's own interests for the good of the cause, etc. Combined with high level of education and professional training, these features form a unique type of a Japanese employee who is, in our opinion, the main factor of success of Japanese enterprises in high quality production.
Scholars of Japan and other countries dedicated numerous works to the issue why it is Japanese who are characterized by this special attitude to labor and what factors have formed this attitude. Since the detailed investigation into this matter goes far beyond the framework of this article let us refer to M.P. Gerasimova's opinion represented in her article "Traditional Values as the Sources of Industrial and Economic Progress in Japan" with the focus on the moments that are directly relevant to the subject of this paper.
According to M.P. Gerasimova the origin of Japanese specific attitude to labor should be seen in an overlapping of traditional world perception rooted in the national Shinto culture and spiritual and moral values of Zen Buddhism (one of Japan's major Buddhist schools).
According to Shinto beliefs being a small part of united indivisible world each person should treat everything that surrounds him as equal and worthy of his attention (as everything is inhabited by kami - deities). This idea also refers to creation of new things. They should be "acceptable to deities" and serve beauty and harmony of the world. A creation of a new thing is always a creation of a new value, a way to improve the world. In order to create something "acceptable to deities" one must constantly improve his skills and gain new knowledge. In other words, a process of creating a new thing is not only a way to improve the world and multiply its beauty but a human self-improvement as well. At the same time according to Zen principles zealous and diligent labor is one of the main ways to reach satori or enlightenment (along with ascetical life and spiritual practices). A combination of these two principles resulted in what M.P. Gerasimova calls an "almost devout" attitude of the Japanese to labor and products of their labor.
The idea that labor for the Japanese is more than just labor and production is more than just production can be proved by the fact that a term "manufacturing" is hardly used in Japan (except for data books). As a rule, both scientific and official publications use a term monozukuri which means "things creation" to name this sector of economy. Calling a manufacturing industry monozukuri the Japanese are trying to underline a high status and special assignment of their national industry. The industry is not just manufacturing products, but it is creating high quality things which bring the consumers both material and emotional satisfaction.
It is worth noting that fostered for centuries and transferred from generation to generation a special attitude of the Japanese to labor is supported by a delicate and ever-improving system of labor management used by Japanese companies. This issue was also widely discussed in Russian studies dedicated to Japan; therefore we will mention only those features of this system which, to our opinion, are of most importance in terms of work motivation stimulation:
High social position of employees in the Japanese companies. Since labor (including physical labor) holds high position within the Japanese value system, frontline workers in the Japanese companies are ranked much higher than their western colleagues. For instance while western companies are considered to be owned by stockholders, in Japan it is just a legal norm. In fact both frontline workers and managers belong to company's owners. They are considered as one of three components of the company, one of its three process owners. Moreover, until very recently managers have considered frontline workers as more important part of the company than its stockholders. The Japanese managers found employee bonus payout more important matter than dividend payment to stockholders. High social position of employees in Japan is emphasized by using a gambashugi principle. This principle means that in case of any production problems it is not workers who are invited to the offices of managers and engineers, it is the managers and engineers who go to workers in workshops thus expressing their respect to the workers and their opinion.
Special relations between management and staff. In the Japanese companies blue and white collar workers are not in opposition to each other as they are in western companies. To achieve understanding with workers the Japanese managers try hard not to show any trace of distinction in their position and emphasize their closeness to workers. Everybody belongs to the same labor union, wears similar uniform (different only in color) and uses the same canteens and parking areas. Wage gap between managers and frontline workers is much less than in western companies. The following example may be illustration of differences in attitude to workers in Japanese and Western companies. When a Japanese company due to some difficulties is forced to take such measures as wage reduction, top management would normally start from cutting salaries of top and middle executives and having done that only would start negotiations with a labor union. On the contrary the first measure in the American company would be an assignment of top executive to put the screws to the labor union with a bonus to be paid in case of success.
Flexible work process organization and flexible horizontal and vertical barriers between various operations. As opposed to the western companies with every employee's strictly fixed competence and responsibilities in Japanese companies each worker's responsibilities are not strictly fixed. During the labor process job content may change giving employees the chance to try various types of work. Vertical borders are also much more flexible than the ones in western companies. A common worker may be get promoted to a section supervisor, which is a lower step of management hierarchy, and even higher.
Employee's multispecialty training. Japanese companies pay much attention to this aspect as multispecialty qualification helps not only to overcome conventionalism of labor which is usual for most types of physical labor but encourages each employee to show the best of his abilities and increases his self-esteem. Apart from the flexible labor management various worker occupations training is supported by rotation system (when a worker changes his job from time to time) and a system of internal education.
Wage and career promotion system with regard to individual performance factors. Although it is the employment time that plays a key role in salary definition the Japanese labor management system pays much attention to individual achievements of an employee when promoting or determining salary. Unlike western companies which are only interested in job performance the Japanese companies take into consideration the whole work process. Thus along with an employee's job performance such factors matters as professional skills, creativity, leadership, responsibility, activity, willingness to cooperate, new employee training, etc. In other words, in the Japanese companies wage and promotion system is based not only on each employee's job performance but on his overall potential.
Long-term relations between a company and employees. As it is known big companies in Japan use so called lifelong employment practice for key employees. This means that a person remains employed at a same company throughout his entire working life (from graduation to a retirement day). Without going into detailed analysis of this system and its basic principles let us just mention that lifelong employment warranties supported by a whole package of financial incentives and moral encouragement increase employees' job motivation encouraging them not only to accept but to be fully engaged in the forms of job organization offered by a company's management.
Thus, Japanese quality is a fusion of high-tech production facilities and production management system which is based on a number of elements shaped by national culture and psychology and unique features of Japanese manpower. It is this fusion that helps the Japanese to produce goods that meet and even exceed consumer's expectations as their design, reliability and functional characteristics gibe both material satisfaction and aesthetic enjoyment. This is why all over the world those who have once purchased goods made in Japan will hardly ever betray Japanese labels.
 In 2007 Japan gave 2nd place to China becoming number 3 in gross value added from production sector
 JETRO White Paper on International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment. T., 2007. P. 78; www.stat.go.jp/data/getsujidb/zuhyou.
 JETRO Sekai boeki toshi hokoku (Global trade and investment report). Tokyo 2011. Pp. 111-112; 2012. Pp.113-114.
 For details see: I.P. Lebedeva. Globalization of the Japanese Industrial Production. Moscow 2012, Ch. 4
 According to one of vice-presidents of Honda of America, whose lecture at Tohoku University the author of this article was lucky enough to attend, a single American purchaser of Japanese cars promoted 7-11 potential clients.
 JETRO sekai boeki toshi hokoku (Global Trade and Investment Report) Tokyo, 2011. Pp. 111-112; 2012. Pp. 113-114.
 HS-code (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) - global trade unified commodity code system
 METI White Paper on International Economy and Trade. T., 2012. P. 313-315.
 Nippon. Business Facts and Figures. 2010. P. 64.
 Ibid. P. 62.
 See: Y.D. Denisov. Modern Stage of Japanese Progress in Science and Technology and its Problems // Japan. Problems of Science and Technology Progress. Moscow. Nauka, 1986.
 Nihon kokusei zue (Japan in Schemes and Diagrams). Tokyo, 2010/2011. Pp. 224-226. I
 See: Y.D.Denisov. Role of Science and Technology Progress in Transfer to a New Economic Growth Model // Japan. Economic Growth Model Switch. Moscow. Nauka, 1990.
 The Hybrid Factories in Europe (The Japanese Management and Production System Transferred), Hampshire, 2004. P. 1-6.
 See. M. P. Gerasimova. Japanese Traditional Values as a Progress Factor. // Vostok, №1. 2013.
 For example White books published by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry under title "Monozukuri hakusho" (White book if monozukuri ) in Japanese and White Paper on Manufacturing (Monozukuri) in English
 During Japan's structural reforms of the two last decades aimed at national economy transformation towards an open market pattern Japanese enterprises' operations significantly changed i.e. stockholders' improved performance within companies and their policies. In general Japanese characteristics remained the same.
 Abegglen J., Stalk G. Kaisha. The Japanese Corporation. T., 1987. P. 198.
 See.: Matrusova T.N. Labor Market and Japanese Manpower Management Change // Japan: Economic Growth Model Change. Moscow. Nauka, 1990.; Japanese Manpower Management during Economic Depression // Japan of the 90s: System Crisis or Temporary Failure? Moscow , Eastern Literature RSA, 1998 and other works of the author