Why do Japanese view their hostages as “shameful” rather then honored’ When
compared to the US -if thesei?? hostages were US citizens, they would be
celebrated for their bravery and good deed. What makes us different’ What
makesi?? our countries react differently to these hostages’
According to a recent article from The New York Times on the former
Japanese hostages’ situation, the reason these individuals are seen as
“Japan’s shame” rather than brave heroes is because they committed a
transgression against their society, ignoring a government advisory against
traveling to Iraq. (The New York Times, 2004) This is despite the fact that
all of the hostages traveled to Japan for humanitarian reasons.Because
they incurred a financial expense to their government, and thus to the
nation and fellow Japanese nationals, they are ostracized. Even the Prime
Minister stressed that Japanese travelers are responsible for their own
safety abroad, rather than the government.(Nikkei Net News, 2004)
Causing worry to their family and financial expense to the collective
is deemed to be a negative thing, rather than something positive in Japan.
Although the former hostages were engaged in acts of good, these moral
actions were not directed towards their fellow Japanese individuals, but
Iraqi children.Rather than helping their own people and immediate
families and communities, they caused them expense, inconvenience and
injuryâ€"the only help they gave was to the Iraqis.
Moreover, in Japan, personal motivations to help others are less
important than obedience to the collective, unlike the United States. Even
a more collectivist country such as Britain, expressed the assumption that
they would be greeted with jubilation at home.(BBC News, 2004) However,
in a nation where the tallpeg’ or the irregularnail’ of a boot is
supposed to be hammered down for the goo…

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