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America is the most selfish country.

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Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, criticizing the Bush administration's refusal to join the Kyoto Protocol on climate control (Washington Post)

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"America is the most selfish country"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Ishihara is an idiot, Bush is an idiot - in fact most politicians around the world are idiots but they run the countries we live in and other than every 4 years or so, do we get to say whats going on!! America is selfish?? No more than any other country in the world!!!!!!!!!

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If US is selfish...Japan is Hypocrite

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One more just because, how does Japan have any credibility on ecology? Go down to the nearest beach and try to guess how many tons of those concrete jumping jacks have been spilled into the ocean for so called "erosian control" Go google Isahaya Bay and see if you think that would have been allowed in the US? I love Japan but they have systematically destroyed their own environment due to the cozy realtionship between construction companies and government. The Kyoto protocal is not in the US interest period, we have already seen our manufacturing base decimated by China. I would bet a lot of other developed nations who signed and are wagging their fingers at us are thankful they can use our refusal as an excuse to not comply. Beyond all that the debate is not over, you can find equal numbers of scientists who believe and dis-believe that global warming is man made. I don't personally care which position you take but if you want to address global warming it has to include evryone including developing nnations and not end up being another stone around the 1st world's neck.

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I half expected this quote to come from some Banana Republic or African dictator. I think Ishihara better remeber which side his bread is buttered on and shut his hole. Japan's economy depends on exports to the US so no need to go upsetting your biggest customer. America's deep pockets have allowed you and your ilk the rich graft you've enjoyed all these years. America may be selfish but so is any country including Japan, they may cloak their motives in humanitarian clothing but each country pursues its own interests first.

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blacktea,

You can do entire courses in it at American Ivy league colleges.

So it's elitist liberal thinking?

Again, where is the proof of the original claim? Someone claims the US is trying to secretly take over the world, yet offers no proof or evidence. You defend them by saying there are Ivy League courses on the topic. Wow...

Let's see some proof that will stand up in a court of law!

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Consider the source - Shintaro Ishihara. A selfish, profiteering racist.

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I mean, just who exactly was collecting this data, and how ? And are the same standards applied around the world ? You'd be surprised at how many nations openly admited their co2 numbers were fudged during the run-up to the kyoto protocol ! Having lived in Japan for numerous years I can assure you I've never seen such a wasteful nation

You're right. We shouldn't trust data for anything. Heck, how can we trust the other data from another article that says Tokyo is the second most expensive city? Right. But of course, you like to only believe in data that says things that you agree with and like to discount data that says the opposite of what you believe in, now don't you? Anything that says something negative about the U.S. has to be false, and everything that says something good about the U.S. has to be true.

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USA is the most generous nation on earth. Generous to our own people, and to ungratefull foreigners. We are the worlds richest, and the envy of the world. Welcome to Utopia, welcome to the USA.

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America is selfish. How dare they contribute only 80% of all world aid! They should be forking over 20 times rather than 10 times more than any other country on this earth. Instead of 48 billion dollars to combat AIDs in Africa, President Bush should have allocated 100 billion. Same with contributions to help pre-industrial nations. Instead of a few billion, they should be paying 100% of the bill for all the countries not as productive as China. Who cares about whether or not Americans can afford paying for their own lifestyles. They should only be concerned about other people in countries whose governments cannot possibly take care of them.

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cartman, one thing to remember when the US sends its military to do humanitarin work. Roughly about 6000 of the troops sent were Reservist, that is they were called up. So in addition to the troops on active duty, the US had to foot the bill for additional members to be called on active duty. Also, the ships that were there, were on their way back from the Persian Gulf, and were delayed in returning home.

Not to mention, the extra flight hours and wear and tear on the equipment gets passed along to the taxpayer. Repairs are done on equipment that has been used to support humanitarin efforts that is normally geared for warfighting.

So, maybe the US does not just write a "blank check" to poorer nations, but we do give a lot to help out. Never have we presented a bill to a country that says you owe us.

I also seem to recall that earlier in the "W" administration that the UN was beefing because the US had not paid its dues, since he thought we were not getting our money's worth for all that we pump into the organization. I would like to see the actual breakdown that Japan gives in terms of pure donations, and not special loans that they give.

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consider the source....garbage in - garbage out.

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The whole concept of the "Kyoto Protocol" being based in Japan is farcical, when in fact the Japanese government has some of the most self-destructive ecological and environmental policies of any developed nation in the world today. Japan likes to promote the 'old Japan' ideals of one being in harmony with nature, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have nearly finished reading a book titled "Dogs and Demons" (Hill & Wang, 2001) by a gentlemen named Alex Kerr, and some of the issues he exposes are jaw-dropping.

What a striking coincidence that one of the very issues Mr. Kerr brings up in the book, about Chisso Corp's. ties to "Minamata Disease" (which primarily relates to the issue of toxic waste disposal) is also in the headlines on JT today. This was first identified back in 1956 and the Japanese government was sued soon thereafter, yet this case still has not been resolved over 50 years later. I'd like to hear Ishihara's defence of that issue (and I have no doubt he would defend the Goverment's position.)

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Coming from Shintaro Ishihara, that's a comliment. When a racist, immature, bigoted, narrow-minded, corrupt, shady government official -- especially the governor of the most heavily-populated state and cty in the world whose notorious for putting his foot into his mouth -- calls your country "selfish", that should be taken as a badge of honor.

Cleo, the reason we elected George W. Bush twice is because the alternatives were jokes to begin with. I shudder every time I think of how close Gore came to winning, then, ten months later, the terrorist attacks happening.

As far as the Kyoto Accords, why is Shintaro Ishihara not calling Red Chuina and India selfish, as well? Don't they both produce more greenouse gasses than the USA? I pray that the electorate of Tokyo will do us al la favor and remove this man from office at the enxt election cylce....

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From the EIA, Official Energy Statistics from the US Government:

"The United States uses a lot of energy—nearly a million dollars worth each minute, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. With less than five percent of the world’s population, we consume about one fourth of the world’s energy resources."

http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/saving/efficiency/savingenergy.html

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no, America does not consume 24% of the worlds energy. that was 20 years ago when we had an indsutrial base. We no longer have one. It has since been shipped to China, along with every other indsutrialzed nations manufacturing base. (Japan included). Ironically, the US produces les chlorophlorcarbons (did i spell it right?) then Canada, our criticizing neighbor to the north.

thats some info, Alphaape, on the Tsunamai. i didn't know the level of US govt support. about half of my friends contributed through private charities like Amazon.com and other businesses' online efforts, but i did not know about that level of US govt aid.

and lets not foroget one very important thing with regards to asia in general, there is NO integration. xenophobia ranks high in Japan and even other non-island based countries. The people of asia are fed, primarily through news outlets, the fears and negatives regarding "westerners". we are ALL westerners to the asian, not Cacausians, Latins or Blacks, but WESTERNERS. we are clumped into one pile.

that said, i feel at home, somewhat, in both Japan and Singapore and going to HongKong and Taiwan this winter. Was probably asian in a prior life. lets just put this article, and its racist nature behind us. IF the day comes when China is the worlds sole superpower, then they will bear the brunt of the worlds hatred. its just the nature of the beast.

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tigris, look up the consumption of India and China as far as energy usage goes. Also, even at the height of the Cold War, when we were dead locked against the USSR, which country ususally sent grain over to the USSR so that their country would not collapse during their harvest shortage.

Or for the other matter as someone posted, we gave $5 billion to nK and they still don't speak to us. Yes I will admit the US savings rate is low and consumer debt is a bit high, but I think that with the over inflated prices here in Japan, I would like to see what their numbers are.

Americans have all ways given, and for the most part have not asked you to "follow our program." I again point to the grain shipments to the USSR during the Cold War.

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"Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy."

Which produces vasts amounts of food to be shipped to poor nations around the world thus reducing starvation and mass food shortages on a yearly basis. And when America sets aside just a few thousand acres for biofules, and interupts this food supply... boy you outta hear the Europeans whine !

The rest of your post, and numbers especially, are absolute rubbish Tigris. I hope to god you don't believe any of that crap. I mean, just who exactly was collecting this data, and how ? And are the same standards applied around the world ? You'd be surprised at how many nations openly admited their co2 numbers were fudged during the run-up to the kyoto protocol ! Having lived in Japan for numerous years I can assure you I've never seen such a wasteful nation... yet they avoid the scrutiny and brow beating so rightly deserved year after year ! Carbon footprinting ??? WTF !

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I do not like Ishihara, but...

Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy.

The ecological footprint (resource demand) of the average American is 9,5 hectar per person, global average is 2,2 hectar per person. Most Europeans require about 5 hectar per person to sustain their lifestyle.

The average individual daily consumption of water in the US is 159 gallons, while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons.

Americans carry $2.56 trln in consumer debt according to the Federal Reserve Board. The average household’s credit card debt is $8,565. US savings rate, which exceeded 8% of disposable income in 1968, stood at 0.4% at the end of the first quarter of 2008, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Various sources, for more information and sobering numbers: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/index.php http://www.facingthefuture.org/

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Mikejb... puleeze !

"Their problem is that over 90% don't own a passport and have no experience of the rest of the world and other cultures."

WTF is this "uneducated" nonsense about ? First Mikey whether or not you have a passport is hardly indicative of how selfish or unselfish one might be. As I mentioned before Americans were directly responsible for 60% of the worlds donations last year ! And thats what is measurable ! Americans are known to actively donate their time, skills, and knowledge in thousands of hours of volunteer work every year... and none of it has any monetary value and is not measured in actual financial terms !

Second, I don't know where that hogwash about passports comes from but I will tell you this.. there are over a million US service personnel stationed overseas, they all have passports ! There are more than 50 million current residents in the US brn outside of its shores, they all got passports ! Millions of Americans visit their international neighbours to the north and south every year... so what if you don't need a passport to get there ! Americans are not like Europeans. When we drive 6 hours in any direction we're usually in the same country !!! Europeans make me laugh with their haughty attitudes about internationalization ! Hey.. if you all were so internationalized, why can't you make the European Union work ???

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America is most selfish country.

I think this very brash statement.

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Finally, Japan seems to find its breakthrough in environmental issue. Yet, Japan needs to place on "parallel development of human and environment".

Charity...I'm shocked that Japan is not on Top 10 charity nations. In fact, as long as I know, Japan has huge donor of aids to Asian and African countries.

Yet, Japan has different idea in applying the charity to its partner nations. I can call it "Quasi-donation or Quasi-charity".

The Japanese government gives "loan without interest" under the name of donation, charity, or reparations.

It is known that Japan paid the reparations of $50 million to Singapore. Yet, half of it was actually a loan without interest.

Japan has given "huge aids" to South Asian countries. Yet, the aid was given under the condition that those aids must be used for purchase of Japanese products in the certain periods.

2008, the US sent "$5.5 billion" to North Korea despite the sour debate on the Nuclear issue of North Korea. This huge money is really "free", not the aid with no interest in terms of Japanese system.

"Kyoto Protocol". 90% of world air pollution is caused by all developed countries. It is an urgent World issue in addition to the international human rights issue

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Washington also sent military assistance involving 12,600 personnel, 21 ships, 14 cargo planes and more than 90 helicopters. Around $200 million of private donations, with $120m donated to the US branches of the Red Cross,

When the tsunami hit back in 2004, Japan donated a larger portion financially than the US. But, the US sent a carrier battlegroup (USS Abraham Lincoln) and supporting pre-position ships with water making capabilities as well as troops and personnel to set up in Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, etc. Also sent the USNS Mercy, one of two floating hospital ships. All in all it at the height of the DOD humanitarian support activities, there were nearly 16,000 U.S. military personnel in the region focused on this effort. There were 26 ships, 58 helicopters, and 43 fixed wing aircraft, which cost the US taxpaer some $350 million. Also, a supplemental spending measure was authorized by the hated "W" in the amount of $950 million to aid relief efforts to help with rebuilding communities, technical assistance and use by the nations affected.

This is probably a bit more that Japan gave I would imagine. And for the record, true Bill Clinton signed for the US, but the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty (I believe that the Rep had control back then). But, if they really would have wanted it, I believe that when Nancy and gang took control of the House/Senate, they could have pushed it back through and would have had enough votes to veto. Since the protocol went into effect in 2005 and is due to expire in 2012 I am sure that we will see that if Obama wins the election, the US will still not sign the treaty if it is renewed, nor will McCain.

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Can we all agree that Ishihara is just plain evil?

Cool.

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America is right not to join that fraud protocol that invloves giving away money to poor countries for no reason.

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United States $350m in government donations, although this is expected to rise to $650m. Washington also sent military assistance involving 12,600 personnel, 21 ships, 14 cargo planes and more than 90 helicopters. Around $200 million of private donations, with $120m donated to the US branches of the Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children, and to Catholic Relief Services.

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Ishihara is a waste of space in the first place. This kind of crap is par for the course. We all, hopefully, know this. As an American, I agree there should definitely be more discussion over the accords. A large percentage of Americans are quite happy to ignore the ugly truths of our lives of excess. However, just because one person sells it as a diamond, doesn't mean it is. The Accords need to be much more balanced and clarified if everyone is going to jump on. Using America as the punching bag is not helping. Every country has it's own interest in mind. It is quite natural. What?...Other countries don't manipulate? Machivelli anyone? It looks like the pot calling the kettle black.

Secondly, Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a new record and besting the 2005 total that had been boosted by a surge in aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the Asian tsunami. That's a quote from the Associated Press. I don't know what "net" check you're speaking of "Blacktea", but that was what I came up with. That's about nine hundred dollars per living soul in the US. I hope you gave more, otherwise,...

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Quite a few Americans that i know are very environmentally oriented and aware of how deep trouble this planet is in. Some have changed their gas guzzler cars, some have gotten off the grid by going full solar... Going green could create a tremendous new industry and employment opportunity, however it takes time for old fashioned farts like Bush to fully grasp the potential of it. American people are a wonderful nation but badly misrepresented through Bush 's poor world policies. Let's really hope Obama will bring more to American people, but God help us all if McCain wins the final election...

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I don't think Americans are as individuals selfish. Their problem is that over 90% don't own a passport and have no experience of the rest of the world and other cultures. They therefore think the rest of the world has the same attitudes as they do and are surprised when they don't. Bush hadn't really been outside the US before he became President! The Bush administration is run by big business - the largest percentage are on the boards of oil companies. Simply, the Kyoto agreement is not good for American Businesses and their Economy.

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Where has this happened? Can you show proof that it happened? Proof that would hold up in court? Why hasn't anyone else?

You can do entire courses in it at American Ivy league colleges. If you have never heard of The CIA or Central and Latin America then never mind tin hats, you need to get out from that rock. Still, there is just no educating ferverent ranting nationalistic patriots, no matter who's side they are on, we all have to suffer them I guess.

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Cartman, well said...

"And for JapanToday to flash such a misleading headline, should bring the shame of a thousand cowards upon them. Anyone who studies the Kyoto's protocols without just a knee jerk reaction will see how it punishes larger, industrialized nations like the US and China, while giving a blank pollution check to "emerging filth perpetuators like India and other not-so-third-world countries."

Not to mention that the vast majority of nations that did sign on have failed miserably in their attempts to fulfill their Kyoto Protocol obligations... including Japan !!! Ishihara should hold his tongue and reserve his criticism for his own nation. Once again he comes off sounding like the racist biggot he is... and where is the national outcry from local citizens ? Is it common for political figures to openly stereotype whole nations like he has here ??? I think not ! And the blaring fact that Americans provide as much as 60% of the worlds charitable donations simply flys in the face of this morons comments... screw him !

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If you live in a democracy and openly have government departments that assassinate people on foreign shores and at home, departments that craft situations to manipulate the politics of sovereign states for selfish economic reasons then you have a truckload to be ashamed of, and responsible for.

Where has this happened? Can you show proof that it happened? Proof that would hold up in court? Why hasn't anyone else?

Better fix that tin foil hat.

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America gives more charity and aid to other countries than anyone else. Mr Ishihara's statement is so easy to make from a distance. He's picking one issue - the Kyodo protocol, and using it to generalize America.

Hey Ishihara, how far off its Kyodo target is Japan?

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Makes me wonder if Americans are the most selfish people? Not all I am glad to say. :)

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i meant "level" of xenophobia. tired, its 2am in Miami right now

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thats correct, Americans are bred with a deep seated skepticism toward authority, for better or for worse. direct involvement has always delivered more aid than any govt body can. remember USA for AFrica or Live Aid? how about the non-profit red-cross, who has long surpassed the UN in terms of aid. and lets not remember, dropping a few bags of rice on some poor farmers head in Afghanistan is not nearly as effective as providing security and education.

Government is slow, people are fast. (Katrina, thats right)

its just a divergent opinion: in America "the squeaky wheel gets the oil". in asia, the "nail which sticks out gets hammered down"

this JapanToday news source is a perfect example. I would love to live amongst the Japanese people, the warmest and most polite i have ever met, I have a serious affinity liking for their punctuality and etiquitte, but the news papers seem to do little more than fan flames, much like western media. its when ugly headlines liek this rear their ugly face, that i realize i will always be a gaijin, no matter the leel of xenophobia.

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A simple check on the 'net will reveal Japan leads by far in International aid, and I think USA is a shameful 28th in charity work,

America prefers aid to foreign countries in the form of private charities not direct Government to Government aid. Private charities are more apt to deliver th eaid where it is needed the most and not in the hands of corrupt local officials. It also has to do with the historical culture difference of Americans vs Japan or Europe. Americans have a natural distrust of Government actually able to deliver the good when it comes to aid (Remember Katrina) and prefers the private way to donate aid both at home and abroad.

As for being selfish, Ishi should also do a simple google search to show how silly his statement is.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16638810/

Japan doesn't even rank in the top ten.

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nothing embarasses me more than the apologetic, whimpy American. (same goes for other self loathing westerners from Europe, ect... ) As a US citizen, i take pride in our divergence, enough so that at times the gaudy rise to the top, and at other times, the meek. Only, when i see or hear fellow compats in foreign places apologizing for our perceived shortcomings, which i can assure you are merely the symptoms of being human, it sickens me at their cowardice. Any intelligent Japanese or world citizen at any rate, should be able to draw a distinction between the US citizen and the US government And for the record, the US DOES in fact account for almost an identical contribution from the evtire collective UN in most areas of charity and foreign aid. remember, the UN stands for "UN-able" to do much.

And for JapanToday to flash such a misleading headline, should bring the shame of a thousand cowards upon them. Anyone who studies the Kyoto's protocols without just a knee jerk reaction will see how it punishes larger, industrialized nations like the US and China, while giving a blank pollution check to "emerging filth perpetuators like India and other not-so-third-world countries.

I find it ironic that Japan today criticizes American greed, while i know firsthand, that mid to low level employees can hardly afford a day off. this i know from a peer who worked in Japan's multi-billion yen Anime industry. the owner had three luxury vehicles while the animators, whom typically worked 12 -14 hour days had to live at home and ride bicycles. who's greedy????

sad, i love Japan, at least based upon a visitors experience. been there twice, and it comforts me to have friends there whom i know disagree with this single news source's opinion. remember, Japan is the Isreal of Asia, surrounded by hostile countries, hardly in a position to spit on its lone ally, the greedy America.

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Enough of this self justifying ignorant rhetoric. A simple check on the 'net will reveal Japan leads by far in International aid, and I think USA is a shameful 28th in charity work, however a world leaders in crime statistics. If you live in a democracy and openly have government departments that assassinate people on foreign shores and at home, departments that craft situations to manipulate the politics of sovereign states for selfish economic reasons then you have a truckload to be ashamed of, and responsible for. The idea that "You would do it if you were in my position" is the statement of a tyrant who refuses to be responsible for it's callous immorality. Evidence to the contrary exists by noticing the difference in the behaviour of the worlds second biggest economy.

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I think we (American) are not the most selfish country, we do more to ensure that all other less fortunate countries are taken care of and we didn't elected Bush twice he stole the first one and the second time around we didn't have much a choice Bush or the other guy. But at least we are allowed to vote for our leaders.

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Blame out leaders, not us. Most of us don't like him

So why did you elect him? Twice?

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I think that is an unfair generalization. The American people are not anymore selfish than people from other countries. Also every government is looking out for their own interests, so the American gov't isn't anymore selfish than other gov'ts. It just seems like the Americans are selfish b/c they are the world's leading power, I think any country in America's position would act/be perceived in the same way.

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I'm as painfully aware of anyone of the shortcomings of my home country, I should point out that the US leads in charity, bailing other countries out, etc.

That said, Bush's response to the Kyoto Protocol was infuriatingly immature.

Blame out leaders, not us. Most of us don't like him, and the ones who do have a complex.

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Let me just say that, as a USian, I agree with him on this point. But I would broaden this to say that it relates not only to ecology, but to everything else. Let me also emphasize, I do not agree with anything else he says.

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