East Asia and the "Information Society"

A Comparative Advantage to Bridge the Communication Gap?

Wolfgang Pape*
Major points - Initial inhibitions from highly personalized relationships and diversity against open communication
- Advantages from long traditions of 'visualized language'
- Opportunities through fast learning to leapfrog developments
- Young Asian middle-class pushing into cyber-space

Disclaiming the "Asian miracle," the economist Paul Krugman (1) emphasized that East Asia's growth was based mainly on the mobilization of resources, notably of labour and capital, rather than on increases in efficiency, consequently rendering it "less sustainable". Thus it should come as no surprise that there is a growing acceptance in development planning that informational efficiency will promote performance efficiency for the overall economy (2) in the long term.

The region of East Asia is known for its wide diversity if not stark contrasts in terms of geography, ethnic origins, myriad languages, religious beliefs and philosophies. In the efforts of progress to link this vast variety of people and patterns, the means of communication play an increasing role which reaches beyond their importance in the current debate on the "information society" in the West.

People are spread over a vast continent with some of the world's highest mountain-ridges and thousands of islands, different value systems and forms of expression developed through history. There is the, perhaps extreme, example of the Tokugawa Era when the Japanese archipelago was -- for more than two centuries! -- almost completely closed and void of communication with the outside world (sakoku jidai) and when the Japanese society developed its so-called "unique" features (mainly of Malayan origin contradicting the infamous "Nihonjinron"). Linking this experience of isolation with Japan's weakness in international communication, we perceive the impact which the peripheral location, common to most of the East Asian countries, can have on the course of history. (3)

Of course, China -- still the 'Middle Kingdom' in its own naming -- seems to prove to the contrary with her enormous continental base of the Han-people and her world-wide Diaspora of Sinic culture that commonalty of (written) language and moral code survive even at great distances over centuries without advanced means of communication. A fortiori, once the international telephone network -- already now with about one billion handsets "the world's largest machine"-- extends its functions more widely through digitalization also into transfer of visual information, the Chinese link will be considerably strengthened.

The wide gap in communication capability between the islanders of Japan and the more universalistic Chinese (Francis Fukuyama, Capitalism's Future, in: Foreign Affairs, Sept./Oct. 1995), however can be expected to narrow greatly with the increase in visual communication starting with television and advancing rapidly with the use of icons etc. beyond the keyboard input for computer networks. The input of information only indirectly through phonetic languages like English is extremely cumbersome and time-consuming, as is its retrieval of reading by combining alphabetic letters into meaningful words. Much more direct and economical is the input as well as output of information in visual symbols as it is increasingly used for computer software and "architectures" (sic!) in icons to be clicked on the screen. Vision is a faster input with the highest-bandwidth of information transmission to our human brain, which is at the same time storage and processor of the information. Moreover, the comprehension of such symbols is intercultural and beyond any particular language. This latter fact is proven daily at venues of international events like conferences, sport championships (Olympic disciplines!) etc. where long phrases (e.g. 'emergency exit') for obvious reasons of faster understanding by all concerned have to be replaced by logotypes and other explanatory graphics.

This universal trend towards visualization of information will also hardly be stopped by theoretically possible, but technically extremely expensive voice input systems (4) in view of the necessary adaptation to individual differences in pronunciation and so on. The current fear of "Americanization" of cyber-space (5) because of Washington's English being by far the main language used in the digital world at present, (6) therefore, might not last very long as it is increasingly diluted by the penetration of symbols starting from e-mail addresses with @ to exits with ? flashes for directions which are already truly universal not only as traffic signs.

Whereas the wider use of visual symbols is a rather recent phenomenon in the West in particular along with the internationalization, it emanates from millennia of culture in the Sinic sphere of civilization. (7) The practice of calligraphy is along with painting not only the major form of art in China, but has been maintained as essential learning for cultured men and women in most of East Asia with particular respect accorded to it also in Japan where it was adopted from the continent around the fifth century AD. (8) After simplifications in mainland China as well as MacArthur's "democratization" of the script in Japan and with the fast expansion of word-processors, the use of Chinese ideographic characters seems to be again widening in daily life in most of East Asia. (9) The learning of these letters with direct meanings basically promotes the comprehension of symbols and enhances greatly the capacity of the visual memory from early childhood reinforced by reading and writing in all sectors of life. Certainly, at the early stages of word-processing the multitudes of Chinese ideographs provided difficulties for language input as well as output. However, with further simplifications and in particular increased computing capacity, in the context of the advances of the visualization of information through computers, one is tempted to regard Chinese calligraphy as a "cultural comparative advantage" in the age of digitalization over the West's uneconomical phonetic writing system.

A simple example illustrates this Chinese head start drastically: The German computer company Siemens has more than twenty production sites all over the world, but it is the software writing branch in Beijing which works with the least mistakes by far compared to the other plants. This example also underlines the increasing attraction of outsourcing of in-coding software work to anywhere in the world where there is a cheap nimble labour-force educated just enough for visual or numeric input (e.g. for airlines, hotels, banks etc.), while only the high level software design is done in the more advanced countries.

While Japan and China share to a large extent the scripture of characters, other basic elements in their societies like the level of economic development, of course, diverge greatly. A distinction should, therefore, also be made between Japan and the less advanced countries of East Asia in relation with other impacts of the "information society."

"Info-Society" in Japan - Why still slow onto the "Info-Bahn"?

About 120 million items of mail were sent from Japan to overseas destinations in 1994, but almost twice as many items arrived in Japan from abroad.

What does this "mail deficit" (unlike the trade surplus!) signify? High Japanese postage rates are only one reason: For long distance telephone calls as well, Japan fares poorly when compared with international standards. (10) Here also the high prices alone cannot explain the low level of communication (11) with other countries. But the information gap is even wider for computer users who in Japan obtain three to ten times as much information from the USA as American counterparts receive from Japan. (12)

Some critics see the Japanese "preference to be on the receiving or passive end of information" (explaining at least partly also their deficit in S+T exchanges!) as a general obstacle to the two-way multimedia business which is expected to create a Yen 123 trillion market and 2.43 million new jobs by the year 2010 according to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication. (13) "Me-tooism" and uniformity starting at Kindergarten age is supposed to add to the difficulties planners in Tokyo encounter with their visions of a full-scale "information-society" in Japan. Human relations to establish personal trust and face-to-face communication (high sensitivity to body language whilst low level of verbal exchange, in extremes with "haragei" the silent art of the belly) are still indispensable in Japanese daily communication and do "not reside in integrated circuits or fiber optic cables". (14) These features of Japanese society have greatly contributed to the highly successful industrialization of the country in a short period of time. They now seem, however, to put a brake on its envisaged shift towards a nation of information-orientation. (15)

As the computer rather than the TV-set is expected to be the hardware for the "interactive information-society," (16) the still low penetration of computers (unlike incompatible word-processors (17) which are in almost every second household) in Japan further slows down the advances of its info-society. Surprisingly, in particular the proportion of government employees per computer is extremely low (esp. in comparison to the US), while it is precisely the public administration that proclaims the urgent need to prepare for the "info-society". However, also the ownership of personal computers in general has made little progress. In 1992 it stood at 12% of Japanese households, reaching just 16% in early 1995. In Japanese business, personal computers had reached a penetration level of only 30% in 1992. Besides the general problem of over-regulation and red tape, in Japan the use of paper as such is still regarded as essential for memos and so on to carry manual stamps of approval (hanko) etc.

Another socio-cultural obstacle to the speedy entry onto the "Info-Bahn" (sic Nihon keizai shinbun) seems to lie in the distinction the Japanese make between insiders ("uchi") and those outside their personal circles of communication (the farthest out, of course, are the "gaijin" abroad). Even MITI, in its "Programme for Advanced Information Infrastructure" of May 1994 has recognized the general Japanese reluctance to release information to outsiders, as a hindrance to the promotion of databases (there again MITI envisages low- interest loans and tax incentives to overcome socio-cultural hurdles). (18)

A long-running story is Japan's weakness in the software sector (in spite of huge projects like the '5th Generation Computer') where the --education-dependent-- lack of "individual creativity" is often given as the major cause. (19) This much discussed issue is increasingly regarded also as a handicap in advances of multimedia and has become a boom-word in the debate about educational reforms since the late 1980's. In the meantime, engineer students in the more Westernized Philippines prepare themselves by learning 'Nihongo' to fill the niche of the 20,000 software experts needed in Japan according to MITI. (20)

The main institutional brake at the time being and perhaps an advantage (because of positive competition) at a later stage is the departmental turf battle between MITI and MPT, and in some respects even the Ministry of Constructions draining MoF resources with their budget requests for separate computer networks etc. (unlike Vice-President Al Gore's unifying initiative in the US). Besides the waste in overlapping sectors, there is, too, the general problem of bureaucratic red tape hindering the introduction of new means of communications, e.g. the multi-layer procedures of approval for cable-TV (in Japan available still only in certain areas). Deregulation, here as well, amounts to more than giving in to "gaiatsu" (foreign pressure) for opening markets, but would be fully justified for domestic reasons in the national interest.

Therefore, overall one is tempted to say that the Japanese seem to be slow to get their act together for the "info-society", although they were actually early movers in the field. (21) The word "joho jidai" (information age) was fashionable in Tokyo already in the seventies, and in 1978 MITI started a highly successful pilot-project (Hi-OVIS) which connected a large number of houses by optical cable offering 2-way interactive TV, CATV, video on demand, information services, education etc. At the same time MPT were running the Captain project of video text information systems in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, and NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) had launched the INS (Integrated Network Services) project.

Also the Japanese Ministry of Education had early built a national high-capacity network linking super computers in universities before most other countries even had thought of it. (22)

While some hindrances like a conservative education system suppressing individuality might have kept the speed down on their "Info-Bahn", one should not underestimate the currently raving public debate in the country `again to catch up$)BL (with the US and Europe as during the Meiji-Era) which is likely to produce a wide consensus and subsequently a fast implementation through "learning" from others once a new vision is accepted and a target set as the history of Japan has proven time and again.

That the vision of the forthcoming expansion of cyber-space has already widely been accepted can be clearly seen in the various Japanese ministries taking as usual the lead in developing plans for the future and setting targets for its promotion, although officially, of course, it is the private sector which is to bear the bulk of the necessary investment:

In its "Telecommunication White Book 1995" the MPT aims to provide access to computer networks for practically every household and enterprise in Japan by the year 2010, i.e. some 60 million points for "netizens" with a 15-year budget of Yen 50 trillion. For educational purposes (460,000 computers into schools over the next 6 years), medical consultation, teleworking etc., it has drawn up plans to lay fiber-optical cables throughout the entire country. Digital TV broadcasting made its debut in spring 1996 opening the way for 50 new channels nationwide.

The Ministry of Transport comes into the telecommunication picture as railways companies want to profit from their existing land corridors to lay there optical fiber lines.

The MITI, always competing for competence, but with its main interests in the equipment industries where the information superhighway and multimedia are the raving catchwords, is charting a vision with focus on inter-operability and standardization, also internationally in order not to lose track with the leaders abroad. (23)

While in the mid-1990's the spread of multi-functional personal computers is still thin because of the wide use of word-processors for language reasons, almost half of those 7% who own a PC (37% in US and 17% in Europe) actually have a modem attached to it (46% in US, but only 10% in Europe! (24)) and thus are prepared for the rapidly expanding on-line services and Internet (subscription growing 86% in 1994 (25)).

Cyber-space and the "Asian Model" -- A basis for leapfrogging by East Asia?

The link between telecommunications ("tele-density") and economic development can be considered axiomatic. Besides the direct contribution of public telecommunications to economic activity there are the indirect effects through equipment markets, private services and the broader information sector. The elements delaying the information revolution turn out to be very deeply embedded and very difficult to change: the nature of the education process, property rights, and entrenched power. (26) By most measures Asia still lags in the access to the worldwide Internet and on-line services. Though its host numbers appear to be following the same trajectory as Europe and North America, Asia still has both fewer users per host and fewer hosts per capita. (27) While the shift to information-intensive economies offers enormous chances especially to East Asia, it also implies the great danger of widening gaps in the distribution of benefits and imminent threats to cultural identities. In 1990, the Asian Productivity Organization has espoused information technology requiring a systematic industrial basis to leapfrog shortcuts into the information age, but at the same warned to avoid the dependence on "culture-bound" software.

With East Asia outside Japan as the fastest-growing economies in the world, its demand for telecommunication products and services is "dizzying" with an increase of 17% a year, (28) in particular the newly rich urban middle-class seems to be "bleeper-mad." (29) China -- still with a relatively low tele-density -- now ranks eighth in terms of equipment capacity and here has the highest growth rate of all countries. (30)

Although most Asian countries now claim to agree on privatization and competition to be the best way to attract foreign investment ($90 bio needed), in practice control by public authorities is still dominant with only around 30 telecom firms in the entire Asia-Pacific region listed for privatization in 1995.

However, this resistance to full privatization is not only motivated by governments merely not wanting to give up control. Rather, a growing consensus on the so-called" Asian development model" is spreading its influence also in telecommunication often following experiences made in Japan.

However, beyond merely wanting to distinguish themselves from what some "Neo-Confucianists" in Asia already call the "decadence" of Western liberalism, what is of importance in connection with telecommunications is a basic difference in attitude towards our dichotomy of public/private. They perceive it as much less separate than in the West, particularly than in the USA. It is neither a positive emotional association (31) nor a negative antagonism (32) of the individual vis-a-vis the whole nation-state (which anyhow has only a brief history in Asia), but rather the traditional living together in the agrarian village (33) that give Asians their identification often still today.

This group-orientation links the "private" individual to the general public which is much less abstract, but rather personalized for example in the bureaucracy and finally the "emperor" (Tenno in Japan or Mao or Deng in modern China...) symbolizing ethnic rather than national unity. (34) The generally more holistic attitude is confirmed also by the intertwining of religious rituals and secular functions in many Asian societies (35) in contrast to clearer separations in Europe since the Investiture Dispute of the 13th century. This symbiosis has often lent the state additional authority, thus helping the enforcement of policies top-down, but also allowing more "vertical" interaction and communication in both directions (unlike modern networking), at the expense of horizontal class consciousness.

In the context of the information society which implies spreading knowledge and communicating widely also at horizontal level between individuals more than preserving tightly knit insider-circuits, the traditional Asian pattern of closed connections within groups can be an obstacle in the beginning, as suspicions still run deep against the unknown outsider who happens to join the open (e.g. computer) network. The Asian (Malayan) notion of communication as a face to face relationship of interpersonal trust (again contrasting with the highly mobile, if not superficial American case (36)) is by nature blocking the opening and liberalization of connections in general.

Furthermore, the physical isolation of the person sitting alone at the keyboard deter people more in the East than the "hunting pioneers" in the West. However, technology can contribute to overcome the isolation of lonely computer users and render it "group-user friendly. (37)

Therefore it seems to be difficult for the "Asian model", to accept the fact that the increasingly interconnected networks of computers and telecoms (soon with multimedia) are in principle open to anybody who has the necessary equipment and skill to accede.

For some in Asia, inter-connectivity is also negatively associated with the danger of "Western trash polluting Asian moral values (38). Their criticism starts with "satellite TV as the fourth stage of imperialism which seduces colonialized people unwittingly into their own exploitation as many have been convinced of the urgency to build a post-industrial information society rooted heavily in liberal recipes". These people are afraid of "liberalism's ideal of all voices having equal access to a neutral public sphere." (39) They fear in their "Orwellian conclusion" that a few Western elites would come to dominate not only the mass media in Asia, but the masses as well. Hardly distinguishing satellite TV of CNN or Murdoch's Star TV etc. from computer networking (while the latter could counteract the impact of TV broadcast! (40)), they propose "Asianization to fashion a new cultural identity." (41) With an artificial difference of "deregulation which is not be taken to mean delegalization," they want to subject broadcasts to local regulations "to end the imperialism that has lasted for 500 years ...". In their analysis, however, they seem to ignore future developments of the information society.

From recent American experiences with more advanced computer networking, two aspects seemto be of particular importance for most of East Asia:

- The "digital revolution" is blind to wealth and political power, i.e. many affluent and well-established middle-aged people de-facto exclude themselves as computer-illiterates ("my secretary could do it....") leaving the influential action on the info-highway to the young and a few lonesome elderly (42) as the control over information becomes almost impossible once connected. (43)

- Some fast-growing developing regions (cf. also eastern Germany) start from zero and from the outset install the newest digital technology thus leapfrogging already more advanced economies which are stuck with their older systems.(44)

East Asian societies with a high proportion of under-thirty year olds (45) and "Nintendo-kids" and with currently the highest economic growth-rates (46) and their cheaper hard- and software (incl. counterfeits....) seem to be best placed to benefit from these two aspects and to overcome the above-mentioned socio-cultural obstacles in building a market-driven info-society.

In conclusion, one can summarize that there are certain socio-cultural aspects common to East Asian economies which suggest home-grown difficulties in their accelerating smoothly onto the info-highway. With a certain exception made for Japan (which is building a consensus to "catch up again"), these inhibitions could be swept aside by the countless techno-mad young professionals serving as models of success in the fast pace of economic growth of the East Asia region. They are pushing the rapidly expanding middle-class into "cyber-space", -- at the same time widening the gap with the less advanced layers of their societies. Furthermore, the political implications of the East Asian societies opening wider up to the international flow of data and the consequent individualization of resulting knowledge could have profound influences on the processes of their governance in the longer term.

* Dr. Wofgang Pape is a Project Co-ordinator of the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission.

  1. P. Krugman, The myth of Asia's miracle, in: Foreign Affairs, Nov. 1994

  2. D. Lamberton, The Information Revolution in the Asia-Pacific Region, in: Asia-Pacific Literature, Vol.8 No.2, Nov. 1994

  3. However, the "death of distance" thanks to technology and competition in telecoms (The Economist, 30.9.1995) might have the converse impact of undoing such particularities.

  4. N. Negroponte (Being Digital, New York, 1995, p.145) points out the difficulties of voice recognition, esp. in English, but less in Turkish -- (the editor:) and by the way also less in Japanese, both Asian languages!

  5. Yomiuri shinbun, 29.5.95, with headline: "'Gaikoku no shihai' shinpai" (fear of 'foreign control')

  6. Singapore's Minister for Information, G. Yeo, sees the widespread use of English anyway eventually contested and the Internet become multicultural; Daily Yomiuri, 26.5.95

  7. Of course, the Chinese were not the first and only ones to use writing symbols, but unlike the systems developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon etc., today's Chinese writing is a direct continuation of the original culture of 5,000 B.C. (C. Lindqvist, Eine Welt aus Zeichen, Munchen 1990, p.16).

  8. The vocabulary of today's Japanese is 41% based on Chinese according to the National Language Research Institute of Japan, but the use of Chinese characters in Japanese writing (kanji) is much wider.

  9. As writing basically derives from the image, it is expected that "it will again return to it", also in the West (A.M. Christin, Text and Image, in: European Review, Vol.3, No.2, London 1995, p.129)

  10. This fact is confirmed by the term "Japanese telecontinent" (D. Lamberton, The Information Revolution in the Asia-Pacific Region, in: Asia-Pacific Literature, Vol.8 No.2, Nov 1994, p.45) which implies a high share of voice communications with the rest of East Asia into, but not from Japan. Also growth rates for outbound Internet traffic from Japan were lower than from Singapore or South Korea (eodem).

  11. See Nikkei-Weekly, 15.8.94

  12. See Daily Yomiuri, 26.8.94

  13. See "Telecommunications Council" report of May 1994

  14. Francis Fukuyama, Trust, New York 1995, p.25; cf. also S. Nash, Can Groupware Survive in Japanese Groups, in: Computing Japan, Sept./Oct.1995, p.29-31

  15. N. Negroponte (Being Digital, p.166) adds onto it that the native culture of Japan fights also the trend to move away from space and time dependence towards what he calls the 'post-information age'.

  16. For reasons of higher definition display, superior data processing power etc. (see FT 31.5.94)

  17. Aera, 13.3.95

  18. The continuing importance of MoF budget allocations for new technological developments is exemplified in the big companies' (Sony, NEC etc.) expectations for government funds to cover 70% of development costs of 6 billion yen for the planned "wireless video assistant" (see IHT, 1.10.94)

  19. In computer software, copyrights for literature and music, in movies and other forms of entertainment, in technological patents, fashions, industrial designing and financial and insurance -- Japan has an import surplus in all of them which can be blamed on its standardized education system (T. Sawa, in: Japan Times, 16.10.95)

  20. In order to strengthen the domestic software industry which is seen as lagging 10 years behind competitors in the US, the Japanese government is promoting the idea that financial institutions accept software as mortgagable property; Japan Times, 27.9.95. E.Fingleton's lonely view that "Japan's relative absence from the software industry reflects a deliberate and well-conceived policy" (Nikkei Weekly, 25.9.95) not only overestimates the influence of policy in today's Japan in general, but also cannot be substantiated by clear facts or indications (cf. The Economist, 2.12.95, "Japan - central planning's last gasp").

  21. This is acknowledged for private companies following NEC by 'digiterati' like N. Negroponte (Being Digital, New York 1995, p. 235) who on the other hand points out Japan's late recognition of the importance of digital TV and its superiority over their Hi-Vision (eodem, p.40).

  22. The private Keio University's Shonan Fujisawa campus serves as the foremost example of academic informatization with 75% of students owning computers and most turning in their papers by e-mail; Far Eastern Economic Review, 30.6.95

  23. Its active contributions in the APEC Telecommunications Working Group (cf. Osaka Action Plan, Nov. 1995) clearly confirm MITI's intentions.

  24. International Herald Tribune, 17.5.95

  25. The Economist, 12.8.95; in 1995 alone more than 50 companies started to offer Internet access in Japan; NTT announced plans to provide an "Open Computer Network" (OCN) in June 1995, a Japanese emulation of the Internet?

  26. D. Lamberton, The Information Revolution in the Asia-Pacific Region, in: Asia-Pacific Literature, Vol.8 No.2, Nov 1994, p.52

  27. Far Eastern Economic Review, 27.7.1995

  28. The Economist, 4.2.95

  29. For example about every fourth Singaporean has a mobile phone. Singapore in general serves as a model in computerization not only in Asia, in particular with its digital automatization of its port which handles 1 million containers per month.

  30. Internet links are possible in more than 24 Chinese cities and the number of Internet users surged from 3,000 to about 100,000 in 1995 after the state-owned ChinaNet and CellNet services started offering hook-ups via cheap local phone lines. In the meantime officials have planned to prevent the Internet from distributing porno and anti-government information (IHT, 3.1.96). Early 1996 suppliers of Internet connections were summoned and subsequently the biggest supplier announced a "moratorium" on new subscribers (The Economist, 20.1.1996).

  31. Heterogeneity and strong trans-border ethnic links (esp. by the 55 mio overseas-Chinese) -- with the exception of Japan -- put a brake on "nationalism", but can render it a powerful tool for domestic control.

  32. propagated currently esp. by the US Republicans

  33. The concept of "mura" in Japanese or "danwei" in Chinese, see O. Weggel, Die Asiaten, Munchen 1989, p. 57

  34. This leads for instance to the oddities of the Japanese pretending his "unbroken lineage", but not calling their Tenno a national monarch in the European understanding of the term.

  35. esp. in Islamic countries but also under Japan's "tenno-sei" (cf. also Yasukuni-pilgrims) and in other societies strongly influenced by Confucianism (= religion or secular philosophy?).

  36. Here is disagreement with F. Fukuyama's seeing similarities in terms of trust in America and Japan, but distinguishing them from China (Trust, New York 1995), as he in general has difficulties to explain the information revolution (see eodem, esp. pp. 23-32)

  37. The recent development of "Karaoke-on-demand" via PC or TV might point the way (Aera, 11.12.95).

  38. See Yeap Soon Beng, an influential Asian academic, in the Straits Times, 27.9.93

  39. The impact of the Internet in political conflicts has been noted already 1995 in Mexico, but also at the Peruvian border, in Bosnia and Chechnya, see IHT 21.2.95

  40. This aspect of multimedia in the future merging TV and computer networks is often neglected in the European discussion of audio-visual quotas which might be rendered obsolete by on-line services in the future.

  41. see also P. Pons in Le Monde (3.12.94) "Vers un nouvel 'asiatisme'"

  42. see IHT 14.2.95 and the "senior networks"

  43. This difficulty also links to the problems of "information warfare" with non-lethal weapons like computer viruses, "anti-politics" through disinformation etc. (The Economist, 10.6.95)

  44. Asian populations are poised to leapfrog antiquated technologies and plunge directly into home shopping, banking, movies on demand, games, Internet access and the broad realm of interactive video services for entertainment and education (IHT, 6.12.95).

  45. except for Japan which is expected to have the demographically oldest society world-wide by 2020.

  46. again except for Japan with its low growth