Originally Posted by HopsFrog
Japan here really has no choice about rebuilding the island, their future depends upon it and if the people get to work then progress is going to be made. The nations people's attitudes, discipline, work ethic and morality are what would make it a reality.
The attitude here is that, yeah, "This is Japan; nothing can ever truly defeat us." And so they're going to rebuild as fast as possible.
Overall, in Japan the group is more important than the individual. This can be seen in lots of areas from business to bullying, and it has some negative effects as well, but overall it means that people always think about whether or not their actions will have an effect on others. Because being part of the group is so important, and ostracism is maybe the number one cultural fear, it makes sense that there is no looting. They know that if they loot, then they're stealing from someone else, and that doesn't do anything to promote the group. So, while there has been some looting, there's nothing like there was after Katrina, where the attitude was "I have to look out for me and my family; screw everyone else."
The other reason it may not be that bad is that while a lot of areas were affected, the number of places that were cut off for an extended period was actually pretty small. It's true that in some places they still are having trouble getting supplies in, but that's only in the areas that were right near the epicenter of the earthquake. Everywhere on the southern face of the main island, on the west coast of the island (me), and on the two southernmost islands really didn't feel anything in terms of infrastructure being disrupted. I know on the news it showed people panicking in Tokyo right after the earthquake and running for supplies, but I live only about 40 miles further away from the epicenter than Tokyo and I have noticed little to no disruption in my everyday life.
As for the yakuza getting involved: they always do that. After the kobe earthquake in the 90's, the yakuza were actually more efficient sometimes at getting aid to the community than the government was. I remember a story from the kobe earthquake where the yakuza mobilized their fleet of 3 helicopters to get aid into areas and help search for survivors. It is true that the yakuza do tons of horrible things, but because they are members of the community - and like I said, being part of the group is everything here - they pull together when the community needs them. I think of the yakuza more like Denzel Washington in American Gangster than the typical Italian mobster. But, they also do some pretty f-ed up stuff, especially in Tokyo. So don't think they're all goodie goodie either.