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Friday, August 26, 2011

Strategic CSR - Japan

The article in the url below contains one of the more amazing facts from the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power disaster that occurred earlier this year:

Japanese citizens, long renowned for their diligence in returning lost items, have turned in more than $78 million in cash, most of it from lost wallets that washed ashore and some of it from safes found under rubble, in the aftermath of the devastating March earthquake and tsunami.

I have often thought that a good indicator of the strength of a society is how quickly it breaks down under stress. When you think about what happened in New Orleans after Katrina and the recent riots and looting in the UK, it is a phenomenal comment on Japanese society that it remained so strong when so much was thrown at it.

I lived and worked in Japan for six years and know that there are significant disadvantages as well as advantages to such strong social rules and norms. I am enormously proud of my ties to Japan, however, when the advantages are on display as an inspiration to other societies greatly in need of a little more structure and discipline.

Have a good weekend.