My opinion about Japan's travel warning system

Japan's Foreign Ministry changed an announcement of travel warning from numerical style to descriptive one.
Her policy seem to intend Japanese citizen to judge their own safety of destinations on self-responsibility, but not receive numerical travel warning uncritically.
This policy shift will be echoed because each traveler or travel agency are obliged to judge risk level of their own destinations by governmental descriptive information.
Of course I am not always critical of this policy shift, but how many people can judge risk level from descriptive warning in Japan where a citizen has a tendency not to read?
In particular, the governmental criterion sometimes have absolute authority for the Japanese like parents' direction against their child because they tend to seek after an authoritative information, and have a sense on the same label with in the same trade (yoko-narabi ishiki).
Hence, undifferentiated Japanese behavior has been often caused by notorious administrative directive.
Thus, many of Japanese may be worried by saying "Please be on your own judgment in individual situations."
But if you get fed up of getting travel warning, for example, you will end up in tears like Japanese couple who visited Bethlehem on April 17, 2002 at the center of a 16-day old siege between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen.

Though Japan's Foreign Ministry changed an announcement of travel warning system, whichever of her policies may bring same effect if Japanese citizen keep desiring to depend upon others (means amae in Japanese), I guess.
Mr. Hisayoshi Tsuge, former Green Berets' military personnel, also said on his book (in Japanese), "I was very concerned that the Japanese tend to seek after perfectness against others."
And he said, "When some competent person go into a decline, the Japanese tend to gang up on them."
"If they fail anything only once, even their past performances won't be evaluated."

Japan's news often says, "Japan's politicians, bureaucrat and bank clerks only think about self protection."
But you can understand that if they will lose everything due to their failure only once, how they usually do, I guess.
They will announce only noncommittal official statements, and adopt such a policy.
By the way, This policy shift will change duty of evaluation of risk level of each destination from the Foreign Ministry to each travel agency.
Japan's travel agencies unwillingly may take such a risk in place of the Foreign Ministry, but they will give us only some printed information from the Foreign Ministry web site. (see also Japanese site)
It may be easy to criticize them.
But if they lose everything due to their failure by taking risk, nobody do such a thing.
In addition, they don't always receive high reward even if they succeed; moreover, if they can receive high reward, they will be burdened with heavy taxes.
In an extreme instance, I'm sure that these are why Japan's economy cannot recover.
"Their own knavery will pay them home at length."
Its proverb is the most suitable for current Japan, I guess.

Travel warnings to be descriptive (April 24, 2002 Japan Times)

The Foreign Ministry will scrap its numerical travel warning system beginning Friday (April 26, 2002) and instead try to describe the level of risk Japanese travelers face when going overseas. (see also here)
The government's current travel warnings are based on five levels from 1 for "caution" to 5 for "evacuation advised," with detailed safety information following each number.
Under a level 2 warning, travel agencies are advised to cancel all group tours and all holiday trips should be postponed.

But after Sept. 11 (attack on US), Japan began to be criticized by the travel industry and other countries for raising warning levels on many destinations, leading to sharp drop-offs in the number of Japanese tourists, ministry officials said Tuesday (April 23, 2002).
Some local governments have even threatened to retaliate by boycotting Japanese products.

Under the new system, travel warnings will be issued in four levels defined by phrases: "Please be cautious," "Please reconsider your trip," "You are advised to postpone your trip," and "You are urged to leave the country "
The warnings will emphasize the importance of individuals securing their own safety and add a disclaimer saying that the government's recommendations have no legal force and should merely be used as information for making decisions on self-protection.
Thus, the decision on whether to organize group tours will be left to each travel agency, the officials said.
"We hope the new information will help citizens make their own judgment about traveling and become aware of possible dangers at each destination," a ministry official said.

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