I can’t help thinking about natural disasters in America and what usually follows in their wake. A lawless atmosphere that includes looting.
How has Japan managed to maintain order in the aftermath of last week's earthquake and tsunami?
The chaos and theft that have followed many earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis have been noticeably absent in the wake of Japan's 8.9-magnitude quake. Instead, people have formed long, orderly lines outside grocery stores, where employees try to fairly distribute limited supplies of food and water. "Looting simply does not take place in Japan," says Gregory Pflugfelder, an expert in Japanese culture at Columbia University, as quoted by CNN. "I'm not even sure if there's a word for it that is as clear in its implications as when we hear 'looting.'" How has Japan managed to avoid this common after-effect of disaster?
Flooded Streets in Ishimaki City (Kyodo Kyodo/Reuters)
PHOTO - People walk along a flooded street in Ishimaki City, Miyagi Prefecture in Northern Japan, after an earthquake and tsunami struck the area.
Japan isn't superior, just different: “Japanese people are "taught that conformity and consensus are virtues," says James Picht at The Washington Times. To Americans, who prize individualism, "those virtues sound almost offensive." In normal times, "concerns about appearance and obligation" may be stifling, but in adversity they may be what trumps "the urge to smash and grab." Japanese culture isn't "superior," it's just "well suited to maintaining public order immediately after a major disaster." STORY HERE