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Hope in the Destruction

March 11, 2011

The earthquakes and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan yesterday were undoubtedly devastating.  But amid the tragedy and destruction, there are things to be grateful for.

The investments in downtown structural engineering that paid off

These swaying skyscrapers give us only an idea about how many lives were saved by Japan’s new judicious building codes.

The persistence of humanity

Photo from AP

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote yesterday:

“Japan’s orderliness and civility often impressed me during my years living in Japan, but never more so than after the Kobe quake. Pretty much the entire port of Kobe was destroyed, with shop windows broken all across the city. I looked all over for a case of looting, or violent jostling over rescue supplies. Finally, I was delighted to find a store owner who told me that he’d been robbed by two men. Somewhat melodramatically, I asked him something like: And were you surprised that fellow Japanese would take advantage of a natural disaster and turn to crime? He looked surprised and responded, as I recall: Who said anything about Japanese. They were foreigners.

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