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It has been reported that the Prime Minister removed his son from the position he had assigned him, following criticism of his son’s inappropriate behavior.
Shotaro, aged 32, allegedly organized a party with his relatives and friends and took several photographs at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
While reading a book on revenge, apology, and forgiveness called “Beyond Beyond Revenge” by Michael E. McCullough Jossey-Bass, I came across five common factors that constitute true apologies. These factors were discovered through extensive research conducted across various cultures.
Let’s examine how the Prime Minister’s “apology” fares when evaluated against each of these factors:
Mr. Kishida himself emphasizes that he is not offering an apology but merely reporting that his son was transferred to another position. Moreover, Shotaro was absent when Mr. Kishida made this announcement. I would rate this apology as only 10 out of 100.
Many unanswered questions remain: Who sponsored the party? Was it the first occurrence? Did Mr. Kishida deliver a speech himself? This contradicts Mr. Kishida’s motto of “Always conscientious explanation!” Another 10 points for this category.
Acceptance of Total Responsibility: None.
Shotaro was not present during the interview, so we couldn’t hear him take responsibility by saying, “It is all my fault.” Instead, both he and his father may believe that the Japanese people will soon forget about the incident. While the prime minister stated that he is responsible for appointing his son as an assistant secretary, I cannot assign any points for this criterion.
Promise of Non-Repetition: None.
We hope he won’t organize another party at the same location. 0 points once again.
Compensation: None, except for Shotaro voluntarily refusing to receive his last portion of salary.
In “Beyond Revenge,” it is mentioned that compensation plays a significant role in satisfying and rebuilding trust with the victims, regardless of the compensation amount. I award 10 points for this aspect.
So, 10 + 10 + 0 + 0 + 10 = 30 out of 100 points. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister fails as an apologizer, I’m afraid.
However, I did find one positive aspect today. It is the fact that I could apply an objective criteria to evaluate the Prime Minister’s apology and make a judgment about its validity.
I wish he could have scored a little higher.