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More tragedy at Olympus
Old 02-20-2012   #1
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More tragedy at Olympus

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/0...lobalCoverage2

Tsutomu Omori, 49, who was head of Olympus's medical equipment business in India, found dead by suicide.
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Old 02-20-2012   #2
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Ugh, this is a drag.
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Old 02-20-2012   #3
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So sad and such a waste. This Olympus debacle just keeps getting worse and worse.

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Old 02-20-2012   #4
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What Jim said. Terrible sadness.
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Old 02-20-2012   #5
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:/ geez.....
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Old 02-20-2012   #6
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This is not a tragedy. This is about honor. Honor him for he was brave...he performed harakiri. If more high power executives who are reaming the world with no grease would be even half as honorable as this guy the world would be better...
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Old 02-20-2012   #7
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This is not a tragedy. This is about honor. Honor him for he was brave...he performed harakiri. If more high power executives who are reaming the world with no grease would be even half as honorable as this guy the world would be better...
Honor is not incompatible with tragedy or sorrow.
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Old 02-20-2012   #8
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This is not a tragedy. This is about honor. Honor him for he was brave...he performed harakiri. If more high power executives who are reaming the world with no grease would be even half as honorable as this guy the world would be better...
Don't go James Clavell over this guy. Chances are that if you end up hanging yourself in a park with a note saying "I am sorry for bothering you", you haven't been all that honorable after all.
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Old 02-20-2012   #9
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This is not a tragedy. This is about honor. Honor him for he was brave...he performed harakiri. If more high power executives who are reaming the world with no grease would be even half as honorable as this guy the world would be better...
Exactly. The Japanese have dignity and shame, unlike their American counterparts.
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Old 02-21-2012   #10
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Exactly. The Japanese have dignity and shame, unlike their American counterparts.
You are absolutely full of it.

There is dignity and shame wherever you look, though they are seldom in harmony, and often those who have too much of one have too little of the other.

No one culture, race, or creed has a monopoly on dignity, shame, or BS.

Hell, we're all living proof of that!
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Old 02-21-2012   #11
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Having worked as an American engineer in a Japanese company, alongside Japanese engineers, I can only feel saddened by these developments at Olympus. It's truly impossible for us Westerners to understand the level of shame that has been put upon portions of this organization, and what that means to the individual employees and their families. The fact that a Westerner called them out on it makes it even worse. It goes way beyond just saving face because the entire group has been shamed. This concept is not something I can ever understand, only hope to empathize with over a lot of sake.

Anyway, I ultimately believe that if they have the cash to survive, they will now produce some quite remarkable products. Looks like the new OM-D may be one. And that truly will be the only way forward to save face (at least in my limited understanding)
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Old 02-21-2012   #12
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Having worked as an American engineer in a Japanese company, alongside Japanese engineers, I can only feel saddened by these developments at Olympus. It's truly impossible for us Westerners to understand the level of shame that has been put upon portions of this organization, and what that means to the individual employees and their families. The fact that a Westerner called them out on it makes it even worse. It goes way beyond just saving face because the entire group has been shamed. This concept is not something I can ever understand, only hope to empathize with over a lot of sake.

Anyway, I ultimately believe that if they have the cash to survive, they will now produce some quite remarkable products. Looks like the new OM-D may be one. And that truly will be the only way forward to save face (at least in my limited understanding)
I couldn't agree more. Or perhaps I should just say that I agree wholeheartedly.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of Olympus employees and their families are honest and hard working. The real shame is that the sins of a few of the most powerful executives at the top have cast such a heavy shadow on those below them on the organizational chart.

I hope that all those who have committed crimes will be weeded out, while the honest ones will be be rewarded for their efforts and encouraged to continue to work for the benefit of their costumers, themselves, and the redemption of a company that they, and many of us, love.

I hope that my previous comments regarding dignity and shame were not misinterpreted. I had an email asking about it.

My comments were a response to a post implying that Americans have no dignity or shame, and although I agree that some of us don't, most of us do have both. The problem is, most of us, whatever our nationality, don't have a proper balance.

I love Olympus - and that includes the employees who have worked so hard to make it what I consider to be the best camera and optics company in the world today.
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Old 02-24-2012   #13
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Exactly. The Japanese have dignity and shame, unlike their American counterparts.
Man, Americans sure get a good verbal beating daily on the internet... you would think the US would have imploded by now with al of the horrible, uneducated people we have...
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Old 02-20-2012   #14
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I don't know...if honor is so important, then why not...just be honorable? Kinda a copout to be all corrupt and then be like, I have to be honorable, where's my sword? Takes a different kind of courage to try to live each day with a little of your integrity intact.
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Old 02-20-2012   #15
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Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
This is not a tragedy. This is about honor. Honor him for he was brave...he performed harakiri. If more high power executives who are reaming the world with no grease would be even half as honorable as this guy the world would be better...
Honor comes by doing the right thing in the first not by killing yourself after you've been caught...

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I don't know...if honor is so important, then why not...just be honorable? Kinda a copout to be all corrupt and then be like, I have to be honorable, where's my sword? Takes a different kind of courage to try to live each day with a little of your integrity intact.
I agree...^^^
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Old 02-20-2012   #16
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I think it hard for most of us to understand that

1. The executives at Olympus did what the did initially to protect the company. They did not do it to profiteer. I think they genuinely thought they were doing the best for the company. They were trying to save face. They thought they were being HONORABLE. I think they were totally wrong, but understand. They need to be punished.

2. Omori-san`s suicide is completely HONORABLE act in Japan. Our western sense of suicide is completely counter to the Japanese sense of it. You may think it weak and the easy way out, but the Japanese see it an ultimate apology. You cannot say sorry to the people you hurt more than by taking your life. Maybe more suicides will be in offing in the near future.

Westerners had better start to learn that they are different methods of business practices in the world based on culture. Why do the Chinese continually make boot-leg things? Is it because they are greedy and could care less or is that they genuinely believe a patent does not matter. What is behind it is the real question.
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Old 02-20-2012   #17
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I think it hard for most of us to understand that

1. The executives at Olympus did what the did initially to protect the company. They did not do it to profiteer. I think they genuinely thought they were doing the best for the company. They were trying to save face. They thought they were being HONORABLE. I think they were totally wrong, but understand. They need to be punished.

2. Omori-san`s suicide is completely HONORABLE act in Japan. Our western sense of suicide is completely counter to the Japanese sense of it. You may think it weak and the easy way out, but the Japanese see it an ultimate apology. You cannot say sorry to the people you hurt more than by taking your life. Maybe more suicides will be in offing in the near future.

Westerners had better start to learn that they are different methods of business practices in the world based on culture. Why do the Chinese continually make boot-leg things? Is it because they are greedy and could care less or is that they genuinely believe a patent does not matter. What is behind it is the real question.
from an outsider's (especially western) POV, this is very hard to swallow, sadly.... i'm not saying i don't understand what you're saying. i lived in Japan for a few years and know exactly what you are talking about from experience. but had i not lived in Japan and seen it for myself, i probably wouldn't get this either.

...and even if i do get it, i still don't like it...
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Old 02-20-2012   #18
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Why do the Chinese continually make boot-leg things? Is it because they are greedy and could care less or is that they genuinely believe a patent does not matter.
It's because they're greedy and could care less. You don't make things like counterfit toothpaste with poisons like Melamine in them and then sell them to your own people, for any other reason. You don't put cheaper lead paint on children's toys when it's well know what the health consequences can be (and when you've got regulations controlling such actions in place), for any other reason. When the whole world economy has determined the importance of copyright considerations, yet the Chinese still believe patent doesn't matter, it's because they're greedy and could care less.

And as for Omori-san's suicide, it's very tragic, but far from honorable. I worked at a major coporation and lived over there for many years, and my wife is native Japanese from Hokkaido. Her opinion of these kinds of suicides is that they're far from anything honorable; that they're simply a way to avoid having to take the responsibility for their own actions; a way to avoid having to answer to the people that they injured as a result of their actions. She feels that if they want to be honorable then should stand up and take the punishment for their crimes as well as work to make amends and repair the damage and trust. She is not the only Japanese native I've met who feels this way.

These guys knew what they were doing was wrong. It wasn't to save face it was to keep from getting caught, pure and simple, and they worked very hard at it. This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened there, and won't be the last because unfortunately it's a big problem within their corporate culture, due largely to seniority, authority, and the hierarchical structure of their companies in general.

Look at what happened with Tokyo Electric and all the commotion around Fukushima and how much they've covered up or tried to hide from the public. My wife said it's nothing surprising at all, and likely what'll happen is that in 10-15 years when people start getting sick with "Fukushima Syndrome" or some such, all of the big wigs from today will conveniently have already retired and become essentially immune from any repercussions based on their irresponsibilty and inaction at the time of and leading up to the tragedy itself.

Now, you may disagree; that's fine. But my personal experience, a degree in Japanese sociology, and my in-home cultural advisor, tells me otherwise. Suicide is just as troublesome and tragic to the Japanese as any other people these days, and the corporate corruption that leads to event like the recent Olympus debacle is likewise as well.
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Old 02-20-2012   #19
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Suicide is just as troublesome and tragic to the Japanese as any other people these days...
i agree, now more than ever the view on suicide in Japan is closer to what it is in western countries (ie. it's far from honorable). however, suicide is still a more widely accepted thing in Japan than it is in western countries. that's a sad fact. and it is that sad fact that probably lead to Omori-san's choice of escape, in my humble opinion.

i think that what Maiku said holds true, but so does what you have said. i think that both of your stances on the matter reflects upon the divide within Japan itself on the matter.
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Old 02-20-2012   #20
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i agree, now more than ever the view on suicide in Japan is closer to what it is in western countries (ie. it's far from honorable).
Yes, and you can readily see it paralleled between the two cultures if, for example, you look at something like the groundswell of action aimed against bullying in schools. Bullying has been a big topic there for probably the last 5-6 years or so in popular culture like dramas, manga, variety shows, news etc., and likewise here too more recently. And both for the same reason - namely kids driven to suicide due to relentless bullying. The form of bullying of course varies between the cultures, but the emotional tradgedy of the results is shared and felt fairly equally, thus the overall reaction to the issue is very similar in many ways too.

Sadly, the Japanese acceptance of suicide is really more of an unfortunate apathy or expectation than real, true acceptance. In other words, when people heard of Omori-san's suicide it was likely met more with a feeling of "well, he was a big wig and got caught, so yeah, that he killed himself is kind of expected and not surprising." while at the same time thinking like my wife that it was simply a way of skipping responsibility and nothing more. It's an odd dichotomy that does give the outward appearance of greater acceptance, but I think it's just that, an appearance.
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Old 02-20-2012   #21
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It's because they're greedy and could care less. You don't make things like counterfit toothpaste with poisons like Melamine in them and then sell them to your own people, for any other reason. You don't put cheaper lead paint on children's toys when it's well know what the health consequences can be (and when you've got regulations controlling such actions in place), for any other reason. When the whole world economy has determined the importance of copyright considerations, yet the Chinese still believe patent doesn't matter, it's because they're greedy and could care less.
The people who make contaminated food are greedy no doubt, but the majority of Chinese buy counterfeit simply because they cannot afford the luxury that an average American does. You might argue that not everyone needs a luxurious life, but this is precisely the principle that America preaches and tries to spread to the rest of the world.

When it comes to exploitation, American corporations like Apple are just as greedy and they can't care less. But many Americans love Apple, so in a way they are also greedy and can't care less.
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Old 02-20-2012   #22
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The people who make contaminated food are greedy no doubt, but the majority of Chinese buy counterfeit simply because they cannot afford the luxury that an average American does. You might argue that not everyone needs a luxurious life, but this is precisely the principle that America preaches and tries to spread to the rest of the world.

When it comes to exploitation, American corporations like Apple are just as greedy and they can't care less. But many Americans love Apple, so in a way they are also greedy and can't care less.
The existence of greedy people somewhere else on the planet seems beside the point, the question being "Why do the Chinese continually make boot-leg things". Note also: "make", not "buy".
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Old 02-20-2012   #23
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The people who make contaminated food are greedy no doubt, but the majority of Chinese buy counterfeit simply because they cannot afford the luxury that an average American does. You might argue that not everyone needs a luxurious life, but this is precisely the principle that America preaches and tries to spread to the rest of the world.
No, I wouldn't argue that not everyone needs a luxurious life. I also wouldn't try to pin the blame on any specific country either. Simple fact is that people anywhere and everywhere at any level will try to make their lives better and more comfortable on their own whenever possible. People also don't live in a vacuum, especially so in developed countries like China (despite their gov't's attempts at information control). The Chinese can just as easily look at Japan and South Korea as they can Europe, Canada, and the U.S. for inspiration regarding ways of leveling-up their lives. To say that they do what they do solely because America sold them a lifestyle ideology is ignorant at best.

Now, that's not arguing that America doesn't have its share of shady crap to deal with, but we're far from being unique in that regard. Still, America's problems in no way absolve China from acting responsibly and ethically according to standards that are widely accepted among developed countries, like patents and copyrights, and not poisoning your own people and others whenever possible.

Oh and remember, all the current Apple bruhaha about Chinese factories came about from a New York Times piece regarding the issue. New York is in America. We're not perfect, but we're not animals either.
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Old 02-21-2012   #24
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It's because they're greedy and could care less.
Before you start writing off an entire nation from that high horse of yours, perhaps you could use your own language properly?

If they could care less then that means they care. Think it through.

Yes, there is corruption, complacency and avoidance of responsibility in Japan. And China. And your own country, whatever it may be.
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Old 02-21-2012   #25
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Before you start writing off an entire nation from that high horse of yours, perhaps you could use your own language properly?
I could say something snarky here, but readers can fill in the blanks themselves. To wit:

"could(n't) care less

[one is] unable to care at all; it does not matter at all. John couldn't care less whether he goes to the party or not. I could care less if I live or die.
See also: care, could, less

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

As for generalities, I simply was replying in kind using the original post's generalities for rhetorical emphasis. It's a pretty basic rhetorical technique, so not much more to address than that. In other words, "Before you start writing off an entire post because of that high horse of yours, perhaps you could use your time to study language and rhetorical techinique properly?"

See how that works?
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