Who would have ever thought that Japan, located in the Far East and tagged as the land of the rising Sun could be facing the opposite direction, the west side horizon, where the Sun normally sets? Who would have ever imagined that an industrialized and developed nation like Japan would experience a catastrophic incident which could have impact on its economy or even the global economy for that matter?
As mentioned, Japan is one of the wealthiest and the most technologically advanced nations in the world. It has all the high profile and state-of-the-art technology as far as electronics, hard wares, automobiles, and even robotics are concerned. The Japanese people have earned this accolade in view of their ingenuity, hard work and resiliency. After World War II, the Japanese focused on manufacturing high technology exports and since they are disciplined people particularly on work habits coupled with good corporate governance, they drove their country’s economy way up, rubbing elbows with those countries already in the upper echelons of the world’s economy.
Being an industrialized nation, Japan has always been an active and strong supporter and advocate of development efforts particularly in alleviating poverty in third world and developing countries. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his remarks of sympathy, stated that, “Japan is one of the most generous and strongest benefactors” in terms of development assistance throughout the world. This is indeed true, as some of development projects and former colleagues of mine were recipients of either technical assistance grants from the Government of Japan or from bilateral agencies such as JICA. It cannot likewise be argued that the major fund contributor and strong ally among the member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is Japan.
With the “triple treat” or should I say “triple scary threats” : earthquake, tsunami and now the nuclear radiation leaks on the row, however, Japan’s economy could potentially be affected as a result of the said tragic incidents. I think what happened now to Japan in view of the deluge would not only affect itself but other countries as well specifically those economies whose development projects are financially and technically dependent from Japan Government’s assistance either thru loans or grants. Without the tsunami and radiation related problems, there is no doubt that Japan, being a rich country in tandem with its hard working citizens could easily rise up and build again what have been lost. But with the “triple threat”, so to speak, it may take a while for the Government to recover.
Just like in any kind of business, Japan however rich it may seem, is also heavily indebted. As reported by Reuters early this year, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) , one of the credit rating agencies, slashed the country’s credit rating as it failed to come up with a concrete solution for its public debt which is double the range of the country’s $5 trillion economy. Thus, any rehabilitation and new project investment efforts for those areas which have been totally wiped out would definitely further affect the financial picture of the Government particularly on its budget and expenditures.
Japan may be currently facing a crisis not only economically but also emotionally. Some of the citizens may be grieving for the loss of their loved ones and their personal properties as well. This is an expected aftermath scenario, which is common in any given similar situation. However, what happened to Japan is entirely different from what happened in other parts of the globe. Out of the terrible “triple threats”, the radiation leak is quite worrisome not only to the Japanese but to the entire mankind as well. We are all aware of the potential danger that nuclear radiation can cause to people. There are also costs and risks associated to this as we are not speaking of only one reactor that is affected, maybe there’s more than that. Probably that is the reason why some of the executives of multinationals and rich people living near the danger zone have left Japan so easily because of the radiation related crisis. But how about the other people who cant afford to pay for private chartered planes and jets? Oh, there we go again…..
We have learned our lessons respectively and for sure Japan likewise did. The abrupt movements of the Earth or should I say the wrath of nature can be so powerful that even ultramodern infrastructures and high tech safety measures couldn’t have them prevented. But with Japanese outstanding ability to withstand earthquake related crisis just like the past Kobe quake and their well coordinated teamwork of dealing things, there is always a possibility that everything will retrun to normalcy at the end of the day.
What the Japanese needs from us right now perhaps is to give them that encouragement through our good wishes and prayers that they be able to withstand the crisis and that the radiation problem most particularly be quickly resolved. The Government of Japan has been generous to some of our disadvantaged brothers and sisters all over the world and it is only but appropriate on our part to give back those good deeds and show our sympathy to them or even share something in any way we can.
With the positive attitude of the Japanese people and with our humble help and prayers, Japan would be able to smile once again like the sun rising in the East with its brilliant and colorful rays!
*Samira, the author of this blog is one of those who submitted to myusfultips.com in response to the blovesary contest.. A timely entry. More to come from her….