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Narrow-minded egoists


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Oops! :emoji_astonished:

British envoy painted Japanese as narrow-minded egoists

The Japanese were described as secretive, narrow-minded egoists with no moral code or international outlook, and may be secretly developing nuclear weapons, in an analysis of the country's psyche written by Britain's departing ambassador to Tokyo in 1972.

Sir John Pilcher wrote in a letter to Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home, dated June 8, 1972, that because Japan emphasizes following formal rules of behavior above all else -- something he refers to as the "form" -- the Japanese lack a moral code. This, he said, is accentuated when Japanese go abroad. When Japanese leave the formality of Japan and travel overseas, they are "utterly at sea," Pilcher said, adding that Japanese people's basic instincts take over when they are not guided by formal rules.

"Thus the bad man restrained in Japan by form with a sense of shame, but no inkling of sin, behaves abroad unabashedly badly," Pilcher wrote. "The good man may, of course, exhibit laudably his virtue. I submit that the evil behavior of the Japanese during the last war was basically due to these factors and of course to a traditional contempt for the prisoners of war aided by a deliberate policy to humiliate the former colonial rulers in front of their erstwhile Asian subjects."

=> japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20030101a8.htm
Considering the time this was written, to the British public, this may not have seemed to far from the truth. Sure, we know it is now. But that's politics I suppose.
Well, no wonder the document remained classified for 30 years. :)
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