Posted by ampontan on Saturday, January 29, 2011
HERE’s an interesting website that I discovered by accident: Transparency International, which defines itself as a global coalition against corruption. They have compiled what they call a Corruption Perceptions Index, and offer these details:
Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to the perception of corruption in the public sector. The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries.
The 2010 CPI draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. It captures information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption. Broadly speaking, the surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.
Japan is ranked 17th worldwide, with a score of 7.8. That’s just behind Germany’s 7.9 and just ahead of the UK’s 7.6. It is higher than the U.S. in 22nd place with a score of 7.1 and France in 23rd with 6.8.
The only entities in Asia to score higher are Hong Kong and Singapore. With the exception of Germany, all the higher-ranked countries have a significantly smaller population. Also, all the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and Austria are ranked higher.
Meanwhile, South Korea is at #39 and China is at #78. They are given a different color than Japan on the color-coded chart of rankings. Russia, which is also in the same neighborhood–#154.
Corruption, or an aversion to it, is one aspect of a willingness to conduct interpersonal relations with honesty.
Yet, when people outside Northeast Asia observe disputes that arise within Northeast Asia–the content of which they know little or nothing–their views are often tinged with a suspicion toward Japan and a lack of interest in examining the credibility of the other parties’ claims. They seem willing to assume that an unpleasant historical chapter of perhaps 30 to 35 years’ duration that ended more than 65 years ago is the metric by which the country should be judged in its international relations.
A curious phenomenon.