Japan’s rise to a world economic superpower over the last century is one of the most prominent aspects of recent history. Japan is now one of the most important nations in the world, therefore, an understanding of the Japanese is now of great importance. For any economy, especially the Pacific Rim, it is desirable that a greater understanding of Japan and its people is reached.
An understanding of Japanese opens up its vast culture for study. Long before its modernization, Japan had developed a very diverse civilization, some its own, and some emulated from China, India and other Asian cultures. One could consider learning Japanese, and studying the vast annals of Japanese literature, as a gateway into other languages and cultures (past and present) of Asia.
Along with the rapid modernization (both cultural and economic) of Japan has come a new wave of modern introspective literature giving the foreigner a greater understanding of life in Japan. Japan is also involved in groundbreaking scientific research (Japan is leading the field in artificial intelligence research). So, one could say that a study of Japanese could give one a great look at the past of Asian, present Asian and what the future holds for Asia, as Japan will probably be on the cutting edge.