Tag Archives: 助け合い

It’s not the Money, it’s the Principle

誰かが掲示板に書いていたのを見たのだが、3月19日付のタイムズ紙に「Feel pity, but no need to give(同情するけれど、援助する必要は無い」という記事が出ていたそうだ。オンラインでは有料メンバーしか紙面を読む事ができないのでリンクは貼れないのだが、Disaster Emergency Committee(DEC:海外における主要な災害に対して効果的な人道支援を実施するための、独立した人道支援機関間のネットワーク)が、ハイチ地震の際のようなキャンペーンはしない、そして「イギリス赤十字はこれまで200万ポンドの義援金を集めたけれど、日本赤十字から海外からの援助は必要はないと言われた」とコメントした。

これに呼応する形で、British Democracy Forumというオンラインフォーラムに、「日本人は外国からの援助を嫌う。日本は『病的に』誇り高い国民で、海外からの干渉や助けを決して受け付けないから、時間の無駄だ」という、否定的かつステレオタイプなコメントが載せられた。


日本は世界でも有数の金持ち国だから援助は必要ないという声も多い。でも、先進国にしろ発展途上国にしろ、被災者のために何かしたいと言う気持ちは万国共通じゃないのか。ファイナンシャル・タイムズ (FT.com)は、どうしてアフガニスタンやベトナムといった貧しい国々が、日本を援助するのかと問うている。そして、それはお金ではなく道義の問題で、彼らの寛大さは将来忘れられる事はないと結論づけている。同感だ。助け合いの精神は人間が持つ美徳で、相手を思いやる心が、被害を受けた人たちを強く励ますと、私は信じている。インディペンデント紙の 「頑張れ日本、頑張れ東北」 と書かれた紙面が日本で話題を呼んだように、それは必ずしもお金である必要はないが、金銭的援助も「思いやり」の一つの形だと思う。日本人の美徳として、してもらったことは決して忘れないし、どこかで援助が必要な時には、必ず「恩返し」をするだろう。善意は回り回るのだ。今回の地震の際、海外から日本に多くの暖かい支援があったことをいつまでも心に留め、自分ができる事を、外国の人たちのためにもやっていきたいと思う。

↓ 今日の支援情報

↓ 東北地震&津波情報

There was upsetting article on the Times last Saturday with the headline, ’Feel pity, but no need to give.’ In the article, Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) comments that they don’t do a campaign like they did for Haiti, because the British Red Cross has raised £2 million for the Japanese Red Cross, which has a leading role in the disaster response, but, the Japanese charity itself said: “External assistance is not required.” I can’t link to the article, as only the paid member can read the Times online .

In response to the article, someone on the British Democracy Forum wrote “The Japanese have never liked aid from foreign countries, indeed if Japan had its own way it would cut itself off from the world. The Japanese are a proud nation of people (albeit a very sick one) and will never accept outside interference or help. Busy bodies should mind their own business and get on with it.” It is quite depressing to read such a negative (and stereotypical) comment about Japan.

However, the Japanese Red Cross insists that what the article says is not true. They contacted foreign Red Cross and informed that they accept any fund raised by Red Cross in each country. Japanese Red Cross also promised that they would be going to use all the money raised by the British Red Cross for victims suffered by the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

Some people say that there is no help necessary as Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. But I belive that helping people, no matter rich or poor, who are going through great hardship is universal,  and it is the virtue of human being. Financial Times (FT.com) raise the issue why poor countries such as Afghanistan and Vietnam are sending cash to the rich country like Japan. And it concludes that acts of generosity and solidarity that will not be forgotten – it is not the money, it’s the principle. I completely agree. The thoughts count, and the sympathy and compassion are great encourage for the people suffering. It doesn’t have to be money, that’s why many Japanese were moved by the Independent’s “Don’t Give Up Japan, Don’t Give Up Tohoku” cover, but money is one of a way to show your compassion. Japanese have a word “on-gaeshi,” which means “paying back to the kindness received”– they appreciate your help and will never forget what you do for them, and surely will return the favor you give them when you need help. Of course this is not only Japanese value but also universal, and goodwill will circulate itself – isn’t it beautiful? I will never forget the help Japan has received from so many people abroad, and I will help someone somewhere when it is necessary, as much as I can.

↓ Today’s “How to Help”

↓ Japan Earthquake & Tsunami information