Most of my posts are about idiocy and venal failure. However, sometimes it is worthwhile to close the jaundiced eye and offer praise where it is deserved.
The deaths of so many hostages in the firefight between Algerian military forces and insurgents in the third week of this month was a debacle of the first order. The Algerian government carried out a rescue operation on its own terms, with tragic consequences.
Despite having almost no solid information, no guidance from the Japanese government and the likelihood of a catastrophe on their hards, the executives of JGC Corporation comported themselves with dignity and strength. The performance of investor relations head Endo Takeshi, the company's face and voice during the early days of the crisis, was simply masterful. Watching his press availabilities and the later appearances in public by JGC president Kawana Ko'ichi -- and realizing that no one in Japanese corporate life has had to handle the loss of 16 of workers, 10 of whom were Japanese nationals, in a terrorist incident or military confrontation -- one could only wonder, "Where did they get these guys and can we get more of them? (Link)
No crying jags, no whining about how little the government could tell them about the situation in Algeria, no checking into the hospital for stress, no idiotic standing up and bowing to take responsibility for things they had no control over...
The stoic yet caring conduct of JGC Corp.'s executives almost makes me forget Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's ludicrous reference to the dead workers as "corporate war dead" (kigyo senshi - Link - J) and the news media's attempts to make an issue out of one of those killed's having been a dispatched worker from a personnel firm -- as if we all bought in to the concept that the killing of a full-time employee was somehow less sad.