The April 20 editorial “Nuclear crisis and Japan’s image” is off the mark. It mistakes officially voiced opinions for what Europeans, at least, actually begin to see when they look at Japan.
A similar accident like the one at Fukushima could have happened anywhere in the world. People who run facilities like that are irresponsible managers who function out of greed only. Because that’s what they are paid for.
The real problem is one that Japan will sooner or later have to grapple with: Japan is a feudal state from the Middle Ages. It is run by a tiny cast of corrupt old men who exploit a nation of beautiful people who happen to have a slave mentality – people who will never oppose their rulers.
All countries are corrupt, no question, but none of the First World countries (has Japan’s political problems). As an example, take former Democratic Party of Japan secretary general Ichiro Ozawa. It is an insult to a Westerner’s intelligence to see Japan’s inability to remove someone of his ilk from a position of power. The reason is that anyone with enough power to interfere with Ozawa’s career would hurt himself if he tried to do so.
Unless Japan at least finds the courage to start to get rid of this type of politician from important positions, Japan will slither from one crisis to the next. Japan is not just some filthy-rich Tokyoites; it is the poor, the old, the jobless, the homeless.
That is what people in Europe finally start to see when they look at Japan these days.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.