The real story… behind Japan's recovery

Dave McCaughan
McCann WorldGroup Asia Pacific

"How have people really recovered?" It has been a constant question that I would imagine business people of all types with an interest in Japan have been asking constantly since the triple disaster of March 2011. And perhaps it is not surprising that the simple answer would be "people came together, forged a renewed sense of community and helped each other out. And then in 2012 have looked to try and move on," which would be partly true.

There has indeed been a new or renewed sense of values established in people's minds. And it is also true that one year after 3/11, the mood of self-restraint has been declining. There has been a certain level of fatigue with the idea of Kizuna, or bonding with other people, that had prevailed in 2011. Fewer Japanese people are claiming their first priority is to care about the country and a desire and expectation to see the government make quick changes to aid recovery and use the occasion of this national disaster to make needed reforms. Indeed it is well reported that people have again been disillusioned by the lack of leadership. Of course energy-saving consciousness, and reassurance of connections with people are still important. Trends that we could trace to pre-earthquake behaviors.