Monday, March 14, 2011

No Looting in Japan


"...And solidarity seems especially strong in Japan itself. Perhaps even more impressive than Japan’s technological power is its social strength, with supermarkets cutting prices and vending machine owners giving out free drinks as people work together to survive. Most noticeably of all, there has been no looting...

This is quite unusual among human cultures, and it’s unlikely it would be the case in Britain. During the 2007 floods in the West Country abandoned cars were broken into and free packs of bottled water were stolen. There was looting in Chile after the earthquake last year – so much so that troops were sent in; in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina saw looting on a shocking scale.

Why do some cultures react to disaster by reverting to everyone for himself, but others – especially the Japanese – display altruism even in adversity?' (source)


With a sister-in-law-to-be still waiting in Japan for her fiance VISA from the US to come through...Japan has been heavy in our hearts and minds the past few days. She is in Tokyo and thus far rattled but physically okay.

This morning The Man and I were talking about possible reasons the Japanese weren't looting. Perhaps the culture has no sense of entitlement because the Democracy is fairly new?

Personally, I won't drive over the yellow parking lines in a parking lot or go through a red light at 2 in the morning with not a soul to be found...so I'm pretty sure looting isn't in my personal makeup. But why? Was it something my parents instilled or just fear of punishment? What makes the Japanese people more...cultured?...well behaved?...decent?...than those in other countries? Something worth examining as the economy continues to spiral downward here.

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