The literal meaning for tsunami means “harbor wave.” The cascading aftermath of last week’s Japanese disaster has yet to be fully visited on foreign shores.
But looking into Japan’s medium- and longer-term future, there could be some good in this trauma in possibly snapping Japan out of its collective ennui. For years I have wondered if the next Great Kanto Earthquake might achieve this. Last Friday’s quake and tsunami may be close enough to test my hypothesis. At the minimum, the world is already drawing lessons in watching how the Japanese prepared for and are now dealing with gut-wrenching tragedy.
If anyone may be indulging in schadenfruede at this moment, it must be Gaddafi as the world’s attention is diverted from the acts his troops are committing in Libya. But that’s another, concurrent catastrophe.
Is Quake a Turning Point for Japan?
Japan might well benefit from any shake-up that encourages entrepreneurship, competitiveness and change among bureaucrats.
By William Pesek
Korea JoongAng Daily
March 15, 2011
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