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Why is there no looting in Japan?

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Why is there no looting in Japan?

Postby momopi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:24 pm

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwes ... in-japan/#

Why is there no looting in Japan?
By Ed West World Last updated: March 14th, 2011

306 Comments Comment on this article

Respect for property even in the middle of disaster (Photo: EPA)

The landscape of parts of Japan looks like the aftermath of World War Two; no industrialised country since then has suffered such a death toll. The one tiny, tiny consolation is the extent to which it shows how humanity can rally round in times of adversity, with heroic British rescue teams joining colleagues from the US and elsewhere to fly out.

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, and I’m not the only one curious about this.

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?

Image
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Postby momopi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:51 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/ami ... story.html

Amid catastrophe, Japan fights mayhem with order
By Chico Harlan, Monday, March 14, 10:36 AM
TOKYO — With its coastal areas pulverized and its nationwide energy supply running low, Japan in recent days has lost much of its infrastructure and refined lifestyle, and far too many of its people.

But so far, the country has retained its decorum.

The island nation has responded to a pileup of catastrophes in a way that reflects both its peculiarities and strengths. There’s a ferryboat sitting atop a house in the tsunami-ravaged town of Otsuchi. But at shelters across the country, shoes are neatly removed at the entrance and the trash is sorted by recycling type.

In the 72 hours since an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and a resulting tsunami killed thousands, relief workers and a global television audience are marveling at Japan’s stoicism, its ability to fight once-in-a-century mayhem with order.

The country’s calm has been tested by a barrage of bad news. In the mostly washed-out town of Minamisanriku, where more than half the population of 17,000 was reported missing, authorities said Monday that they had discovered 1,000 more dead bodies.

Amid continued efforts to control a nuclear emergency, the Unit 3 building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant sustained another explosion — though officials asserted that the blast did not damage the unit’s nuclear reactor. The fuel rods and another of the plant’s reactors became partially exposed when water levels fell temporarily, raising the risk of overheating and meltdown.

As the energy supply dwindled, the government mandated a series of rolling blackouts, three hours at a time. Farther north, ongoing relief efforts fell far short of meeting the demand for food, clean water and fuel.

Outside the devastation zone, much of the nation followed the nonstop news coverage on public broadcast channel NHK, where the measured tone acts as a reflection of its viewers.

Twitter users retold stories of where the stranded and homeless shared rice balls. Travelers heading north reported 10-hour car rides — with no honking. At a convenience store in one battered coastal prefecture, a store manager turned to a private electrical generator. When the generator stopped working and the cash register could no longer open, customers who had been waiting in line quietly returned their items to the shelves.

Japan has one of the world’s most rigid social contracts. Consensus drives decision-making and provides the foundation of a peaceful, homogenous society. In recent years this has also meant that tough political decisions on debt-curbing measures and trade liberalization get made too slowly, or not at all. Japan’s youth sometimes complain that the system prevents self-expression, and even most bloggers and social media users maintain anonymous handles.

Be that as it may, these days of disaster have illustrated, once again, the power of Japan’s unique approach to adversity — and to life.

“We value harmony over individualism,â€￾ said Minoru Morita, a well-known Tokyo-based political commentator. “We grow up being taught that we shouldn’t do anything we are ashamed of. It is these ideas that make us.â€￾

So, in addition to the rolling blackouts, many Japanese companies and residential complexes took further steps to cut energy usage. At the iconic crosswalk in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya train station — usually a riot of lights and noise — massive video screens were turned off, and pedestrians moved in silence. Many stores reduced their hours. Trains ran on limited schedules.

At a school in Sendai being used as a shelter for the homeless or stranded, hundreds waited for water at an outdoor playground by forming a double-file queue — one that followed the winding chalk lines drawn up by shelter workers.

One Fukushima City supermarket was set to open on Monday at 10 a.m. The first customers showed up at 7. Soon, several hundred were waiting to buy rice, instant noodles and other goods. The store manager, Hidenori Chonan, said the store didn’t have many supplies left — and electricity had already cut out.

“We don’t know when the next supply would come,â€￾ Chonan said. “We are selling all products at [discounted prices] and losing money. But at a time like this we help each other.â€￾

“We have security to avoid confusion, but there is no sign of people trying to break into our store, or anything like that,â€￾ Chonan said. “Of course some complain about lining up or having limits on how much they can buy, but we all know what the situation is and we all feel each other’s pain.â€￾

Staff writer Rick Maese and special correspondent Erin Cox, in Fukushima, contributed to this report.
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Re: Why is there no looting in Japan?

Postby Rock » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:56 pm

momopi wrote:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100079703/why-is-there-no-looting-in-japan/#

Why is there no looting in Japan?
By Ed West World Last updated: March 14th, 2011

306 Comments Comment on this article

Respect for property even in the middle of disaster (Photo: EPA)

The landscape of parts of Japan looks like the aftermath of World War Two; no industrialised country since then has suffered such a death toll. The one tiny, tiny consolation is the extent to which it shows how humanity can rally round in times of adversity, with heroic British rescue teams joining colleagues from the US and elsewhere to fly out.

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, and I’m not the only one curious about this.

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?

Image


I was thinking about this too. I was pretty sure there would be no looting or very infrequent negligible amounts at worst. I don't think that's the case for disasters in most parts of the world.

People in developed East Asian societies (including Singapore) have the highest sense of personal security (a survey was done not too long ago and Singapore was No. 1 and Japan/Taiwan/S. Korea/HK were close followers) meaning they don't need to worry about physical violence in adult society. Basically, they seem to have some of the lowest violent crime rates in the world. Japan is probably doubly safe for looting because people are so restricted by the invisible forces of the culture.

If you comment on a certain city as being dangerous, the common response you will get is that all big cities have dangerous slums and generally violent areas. But rich East Asia is pretty much an exception to that assumption. Which part of any of the capital or suburbs in the countries/cities named above is it dangerous to walk in, day or night?

If I remember right, even China was benign for looting after the Sichuan earthquakes. What about affected areas in Thailand and Indonesia after they were hit by the major Tsunami? Weren't they OK as well? New Orleans was sure an ugly contrast. Remind me again, in what way(s) is USA still No. 1?
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Postby swincor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:17 pm

A comparison between two recent earthquakes in two different locations:



[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1m4HLNCRrs[/youtube]
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Postby odbo » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:30 pm

swincor__ wrote:A comparison between two recent earthquakes in two different locations:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1m4HLNCRrs[/youtube]


comparing the poorest nation in the western hemisphere with the richest one in the east.. great

everyone in japan is old. everyone in haiti is young
japan has the most earthquakes and has strictest building codes, haiti has no codes and got haarped :lol:
etc..

ri-fucking-diculous comparison. what's that guys conclusion? be a good productive slave so the famers will be pleased. don't declare your independence or the queen will clamp down on you and will hold a grudge many years after the fact...
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Postby swincor » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:32 pm

LinuxOnly wrote:
swincor__ wrote:A comparison between two recent earthquakes in two different locations:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1m4HLNCRrs[/youtube]


comparing the poorest nation in the western hemisphere with the richest one in the east.. great

everyone in japan is old. everyone in haiti is young
japan has the most earthquakes and has strictest building codes, haiti has no codes and got haarped :lol:
etc..

ri-fucking-diculous comparison. what's that guys conclusion? be a good productive slave so the famers will be pleased. don't declare your independence or the queen will clamp down on you and will hold a grudge many years after the fact...



It's not just earthquakes and building codes. He's saying that how a people respond to adversity tells you something about them, and the society they create. That's the difference between the Japanese and the Haitians, or the Japanese and the residents of New Orleans (during Hurricane Katrina).
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Postby Repatriate » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:27 am

His comparisons are still meaningless. The people of New Orleans living in the areas effected the most were mostly urban lower middle to poor black people. Go read up on the 1923 great Kanto earthquake in Japan. This was back when Japan was a class divided nation and made up of mostly poor rural farmers. There was mass looting of ethnic minority stores and lynching with neighbors turning on neighbors. It was bloody and despicable.

I say the reasons behind looting during natural disasters has more to do with the relationship of the people affected with the larger government and community they are in. New Orleans was known for being a city with serious racial issues with a solid majority that distrusted the government.

Plus the U.S. government response was a huge flop compounding all the issues.
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Postby Rock » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:40 pm

Repatriate wrote:His comparisons are still meaningless. The people of New Orleans living in the areas effected the most were mostly urban lower middle to poor black people. Go read up on the 1923 great Kanto earthquake in Japan. This was back when Japan was a class divided nation and made up of mostly poor rural farmers. There was mass looting of ethnic minority stores and lynching with neighbors turning on neighbors. It was bloody and despicable.

I say the reasons behind looting during natural disasters has more to do with the relationship of the people affected with the larger government and community they are in. New Orleans was known for being a city with serious racial issues with a solid majority that distrusted the government.

Plus the U.S. government response was a huge flop compounding all the issues.


Interesting. Didn't realize Japan was like that then. Sounds incredible.
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Postby Winston » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:21 pm

I don't get something. Why are organizations asking for donations to help the victims of the disaster in Japan? Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. Wouldn't sending donations to Japan be like sending ice to Eskimos?

Also, I thought the Japanese were super efficient? How did this accident happen?
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Postby Winston » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:00 am

Btw, I just remembered, Ladislav is in Japan right now. I hope he's alright...
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Postby Repatriate » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:35 am

Winston wrote:I don't get something. Why are organizations asking for donations to help the victims of the disaster in Japan? Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. Wouldn't sending donations to Japan be like sending ice to Eskimos?

Also, I thought the Japanese were super efficient? How did this accident happen?

Are you kidding? Any country that suffers a 8.9 earthquake will have serious damage even with the best preparation. Most of the effected Japanese cities even had tsunami walls but no one prepares for a 8+ because it's so rare. Even with that being said Japan's fatalities in this will probably end up being less than 30,000. Now compare that with third world countries like Indonesia which lost something insane like 200,000 people in the 2004 tsunami. Thailand lost 25,000 and many more died afterwards from illness and environmental issues.

Plus only 30% of Japan's land is livable. The rest is mountainous or uninhabitable due to other geographic/practical reasons. This means a lot of towns are located on coastal lines or flat valleys. There's a limited amount of space to put things like nuclear reactors to begin with so all the issues become more complicated when the country has pockets of population density.

I'd say with all the complications Japan is responding remarkably well. If something like this happened off the coast of CA I think the entire state and government would be screwed for at least 10+ years. I can't even imagine how long it would take them to rebuild Santa Monica.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:41 am

Oh I am no longer there. Got out in the nick of time. I am back in Manila.
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Postby Winston » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:47 am

Oh I didn't know that an earthquake caused the nuclear reactor disaster. I don't know any details about this incident. I haven't had time to follow the news.
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Postby Repatriate » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:50 am

Winston wrote:Oh I didn't know that an earthquake caused the nuclear reactor disaster. I don't know any details about this incident. I haven't had time to follow the news.

Well, what did you think caused 4 reactors to fail simultaneously?
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Postby Rock » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:13 am

Winston wrote:Btw, I just remembered, Ladislav is in Japan right now. I hope he's alright...


Yea, he's OK. He was was just arguing with me and others a couple days ago about that blond UCLA student who posted the rant about Asians.
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