Wanted: Advanced Japanese Technology That Will Keep Japanese Engineers from Disappearing

“Are we the only ones here?”
Last ones out the lab, turn off the lights: Japanese engineers

You know the way Americans always talk about Japan as the epitome of engineering? Apparently, that illustration is about to be permanently outdated.

According to The New York Times, “Japan is running out of engineers”: Fewer and fewer young people are entering the field.

Universities call it “rikei banare,” or “flight from science.” The decline is growing so drastic that industry has begun advertising campaigns intended to make engineering look sexy and cool, and companies are slowly starting to import foreign workers, or sending jobs to where the engineers are, in Vietnam and India.

It was engineering prowess that lifted this nation from postwar defeat to economic superpower. But according to educators, executives and young Japanese themselves, the young here are behaving more like Americans: choosing better-paying fields like finance and medicine, or more purely creative careers, like the arts, rather than following their salaryman fathers into the unglamorous world of manufacturing.

In one example of how they’re trying to make the field “cool,” for example

an ad for the steel industry features a long-haired guitarist in spandex pants shouting, “Metal rocks!”

Wow. If that’s the best they can do, it’s over. Good luck ever seeing that Playstation 9.


1 comment so far ↓

#1 VEe! on 05.21.08 at 6:30 pm

Hey, the same thing is occurring here in the States.
I guess India will have to save the world!

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