On April 17, the Asahi Shimbun published an article called, “Japan must reinvent itself and surprise the world once again.” According to the Asahi Shimbun, traumatic events like World War II and the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate led to the rebirth of Japan.Later that day, TiVo shares would decline by a penny while Vonage shares would plummet 21 cents to $4.78. Surprise, surprise. Look who doesn’t want Japan to reinvent herself.
“A time of chaos is also a time of new awakening,” said the Asahi Shimbun. “I hope our country will surprise the world once again.”
I hope so too. But right now, it seems like Japan is just using the threat of change to gain leverage over other countries. Rather than using the earthquake to create a better world, Japan seems to be using the earthquake to advance its own interests. Rather than recreating itself, Japan seems to be up to its same old tricks. As things stand right now, those 20,000 people died in vain.
If Japan chooses to recreate itself, I hope the new Japan is founded on the ideals of transparency, integrity, truth, and accountability. Those ideals are in short supply these days and are badly needed.
Japan can start on a new path by removing Naoto Kan and replacing him with Ichiro Ozawa. And Japan can create a new world by telling the world the truth.
We’ll see whose vision prevails.