The view from a staffer’s desk
We all know that Japan did not become technologically advanced overnight. This is a product of vision, discipline, humility and an unusual taste for entertainment. Yes, even that last item helped.
A huge number of the world’s best automobiles are Japan-made. In fact, my favorite nostalgic car models are stamped with Japanese badges: Toyota 2000GT, Mitsubishi Galant GTO, Nissan Skyline and Mazda Familia Wagon, to name a few.
Any country that manufactures such excellent vehicles must also understand the responsibility that comes with it. After all, the Bible says that from whom much is given, much shall be required.
Drive around Japan and you will notice how courteous motorists are. For example, to them, flashing the headlamps means allowing the oncoming cars to go ahead and not the other way around. And when a driver is allowed to go ahead, he usually turns on his hazard lights to express gratitude toward the other driver. Little gestures like these make driving pleasurable, and help ease stress brought about by traffic.
I’m not saying there are no courteous drivers here. We actually have a lot. But sadly, it’s quite difficult to be consistently good on the road when the majority do the wrong things and get away with it.
Am I losing hope? Of course not! This is why I am delighted with this Japan Issue. A disciplined country motoring-wise and otherwise, deserves the spotlight.
My prayer is that we Filipinos will all humble ourselves and admit that we can learn from some of Japan’s good practices to make our roads a lot safer. Kampai!