...is one for the political scientists and sociologists:
On page 2 of today's Mainichi Shimbun, Europe correspondent Machida Yukihiko writes about an unfortunate failure to communicate. In a mini-op-ed entitled "Japan Nothing" (Japan Nasshingu) he laments the absence of a single Japanese company among the signers of the Bali Communiqué on Climate Change printed on two full pages of the Financial Times of November 30. Almost all of the signers are European corporations. However, the Americans are present in force (GE, Nike, Du Pont, Gap Inc., Sun Microsystems) and even some rather odd, unexpected signers from the developing world (Pakistan Petroleum Limited; Shanghai Electric) show up.
But no Japanese corporations, aside from the Sony/Ericsson joint venture.
According to Machida, the organization sponsoring the communiqué contacted several Japanese corporations but not a single one showed any interest in signing on.
Machida's conclusion is suitably exhortatory:
"Let's show that Japan is a place where the instruments needed to combat pollution are well developed. Europe's impression of Japan is that, in terms of the environment, it is a backward nation."
Not only in terms of the environment, sadly.