Monday, 21 January 2013

How important are Japanese lives?

Seven dead Japanese were announced in the news yesterday in Algeria. It was a surprise since the news were telling there were some hopes for them. The Japanese workers in Algeria were held hostage for about a week and then found dead. This became a big news in Japan and so many people were sorrowful about this. 

I heard this from my friend in Japan and quickly searched on the website called Asahi is one of the major newspaper companies and I regularly read their news online when I am abroad. I prefer this company because it is slightly left but almost the middle, if you know what I mean. 

Then I was more shocked to see the headlines and the words written.

" The Seven dead Japanese told by Japanese PM"

"Seven Japanese dead, three non-Japanese dead."

I was shocked because of how they reported the news. It was as if the Japanese lives were more important than any other nation's people's lives. Of course I felt sad and horrified by the news but it looked like I have to feel this way because I was Japanese and they are Japanese. Other people's lives were mentioned as Non-Japanese's lives. Non-Japanese was my translation and actually they wrote "gaijin" which literally means alien.  They were only the numbers of the dead. But for Japanese, it was more like our siblings or families were dead. 

I understand that the government have to take care of their citizens first but why do we have to care only about our country? We can never compare the lives of people to determine which is more important. However, people are unconsciously doing this. 

Globalization is accelerating and we often realize how we cannot think nationally any more in many cases. However, we are still trapped in the nationalistic ideas at the same time. Don't take it for granted that you need to care only about your nation. The real problem is behind that.

May all the people who suffered from this incident rest in peace. And I wish the missing people to be found as soon as possible. 

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