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Japan, a country of paradoxes, seems to be handling its greatest crisis

By Chico Harlan, Tuesday, March 15 - The Washington Post

- Skip 前略 - 

Even so, Japan, a country of paradoxes, seems to be handling its greatest crisis since World War II with decorum, fighting chaos with order. A ferryboat is sitting atop a house in the tsu­nami-ravaged town of Otsuchi, but at shelters nationwide, shoes are neatly removed at the entrance and the trash is sorted by recycling type.

There has been virtually no evidence of looting or rising crime levels, and the Japanese have shown stoicism while waiting in long lines.

Also on display have been Japan’s unrelenting politeness and its love for group consensus. Twitter users told stories about the stranded and the homeless sharing rice balls. Travelers heading north reported 10-hour car rides ― with no honking. At a convenience store in one battered coastal prefecture, a store manager used a private electric generator. When it stopped working and the cash register no longer opened, customers waiting in line returned their items to the shelves.

Even at Tokyo’s Kokubunji Station, with most train lines down, morning commuters waited hours just to board their trains. Lines reached out of the station, over crosswalks and along the streets for several hundred yards. Railway employees wearing suits and white masks directed commuters into lines ― east going this way; west going that way.

- Omitted the rest 以下省略 -



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