It was interesting to hear the comments made earlier today by a Japanese politician. Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo, actually stood in front of live interviewers, as he gave a quirky comment about his sentiments on their recent tragedy. Governor Ishihara stated that the disaster that struck Japan last Friday was a result of divine retribution!
The majority of the world is doing what it can to assist Japan in rebuilding after the devastation of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck the nation last Friday. Estimates are revealing that nearly 4,000 people were killed in this disaster. As well, the structure of Japan was crippled, with an estimate of complete repair set to take decades.
Whether you are religious, or otherwise, it may not have been appropriate of the leader of a nation to place blanket blame for his country’s devastation on it’s entire, general population. Keep in mind that many people died; old and young, men and women. I would believe that the overwhelming majority of the people were not guilty of committing immediate and severe crimes, and certainly not anything that demanded their sudden deaths.
Governor Ishihara stated that “Japanese politics is tainted with egoism and populism”; his rationale for the devastation that befell Japan, last week. He went on, saying that the tsunami was an effort to erase these negative traits which he alleges are primary problems within Japan. One theological philosopher from The University of San Francisco stated that Governor Ishihara’s comments reflect old-fashioned Japanese/Buddhist philosophy, which the greater portion of Japan has abandoned.
Governor Ishihara used the word tembatsu, meaning that Japan was being punished by God for what he claims is it’s overly-enhanced state of self-importance. However, in light of these statements, it should be kept in mind that current counts are at 3,373 deaths due to this recent, geological disaster. Many of those hurt and/or killed were children and babies, whom have not lived long enough to have done wrong, let alone to have incurred such wrath.
University of San Francisco Chair of Theology and Religious Studies John Nelson hinted that Governor Ishihara’s comments link him to old-fashioned, pre-modern era, philosophical thought. He mentioned that the statements were of a nature of thought that was given by the Japanese culture of prior eras. Nelson continued that The Governor’s statements reflect a manner of thinking out of Japan when it had a primary goal of conquering the world!
Governor Ishihara did come back to apologize for his comments. His comments were viewed as offensive by many people, along with a curious comment from CNBC host Larry Kudlow, and a regularly-given foot-in-mouth statement from Glenn Beck. However, despite disparaging statements, it should be kept in mind that Japan needs assistance from the entire planet, right now.
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