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Japan has lessons to teach the world on sustainable innovation

History of struggle with harsh natural conditions has fostered ingenuity

| Japan
The Christchurch Transitional Cathedral, designed of paper tubes by Shigeru Ban, was erected in the New Zealand city after a 2011 earthquake ruined the church's original building. (Photo courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects)   © Stephen Goodenough

Nobuko Kobayashi co-leads the Japan consumer practice of global strategy consulting group EY-Parthenon. The views expressed in this article are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.

Rather than the kaizen philosophy of seeking continuous improvements in efficiency, Japan's strongest potential to serve as a model for the future lies with its ingenuity in cohabitating with harsh natural conditions while minimizing environmental damage from human intervention.

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