Tuesday 6 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Even as they bury their dead, one thing you will not hear from the heroic Japanese is self-pity

Kevin Myers

Published 15/03/2011 | 05:00

The differences between the Japanese and the Irish are so great that we could almost be unrelated species of animal

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OKAY: so is that enough of a lesson in stoicism for us? Consider the heroic discipline and dignity of the Japanese people, as they cope with the latest catastrophe to visit their shores. Then let us remember that the debts we face through our own folly are as nothing, the merest dew-fall on a raging Vesuvius, compared to the financial burdens that the people of Japan must now bear.

For the really serious costs are not those arising from the Armageddon of last week, but from the knowledge which must now result: that all of the coastal defences in Japan against tsunamis are hopelessly inadequate, and that the nation must henceforth prepare for an endless diet of broken sea walls and tidal waves sweeping inland.

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