Can We Learn from Japanese Culture?
by Last Night in Little Rock
Twenty years ago last month, a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 crashed into a mountain and killed 520. Because of Japanese culture, without waiting for determining who was at fault, the President of Japan Airlines immediately made a point to personally visit with the survivors of all passengers that he could find and personally apologize. I remember the video of the man bowing to the person receiving him. Aside from disaster, the Japanese also apologize for inconveniencing someone else.
In times of great personal disgrace, Japanese culture also recognized "the fine art of seppuku," the ultimate in acceptance of personal responsibility.
We used to hear our government officials talk of that concept. Now, of course, they have spun it around to the "personal responsibility" of those who lacked the wherewithal to escape New Orleans instead of their own responsibility. Spin for the sake of saving face. No matter that they swept up with the poor the nursing home and hospital patients who had no ability to escape who died in their beds.
In American culture, a simple resignation for the good of the country or the President would be enough. But that requires class, style, a conscience, and a desire to do the right thing; something these people all lack.
We have a lot to learn from Japanese culture.
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