Visit our Bookstore
Home | Fiction | Nonfiction | Novels | |
Innisfree Poetry | Enskyment Journal | International | FACEBOOK | Poetry Scams | Stars & Squadrons | Newsletter



By Rutagengwa Claude Shema

Regional Coordinator

Great Lakes Peace Initiative (GLPI)


Click here to send comments

Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques



     A Norwegian shipping company, the world's third largest
shipper of cars and proud winner of the contract to transport the
huge Airbus 380 passenger planes to their destination, had a
serious accident.  One of its ships ran aground in Tokyo harbor,
spilling oil on a large culture of abalone, one of Japan's most
coveted foods, something close to a sacrilege.  The executive
director consulted with Johan Galtung and his Japanese wife Fumiko
Nishimura on what to do.  They recommended, "Take the first plane
to Tokyo, apologize, and offer compensation."  Johan explained to
him that a true apology should not say, "We are sorry that this
upset you so much", which is an insult, putting the blame on the
injured party.  Instead, it consists of three parts: (1) I am
sorry, (2) I did this, which I know is wrong, and (3) I offer the
following as restitution.

     The shipper's lawyers strongly advised against apologizing,
saying it was an unnecessary admission of guilt and could cost the
company a fortune.  The executive director did not follow his
lawyers' advice, but went to Tokyo and apologized to the official
in charge of the harbor.  He embraced him and accepted the offer of
compensation.  A court case could easily have cost ten times as
much, mostly in lawyers' fees.  Regardless of the costs, an apology
and offer of restitution was the right thing to do.


Widget is loading comments...