I’d like to comment on some of the ways Japanese people react when extremist groups kidnap Japanese citizens. First reaction is saying that it’s the hostages fault going to an unsafe palace. This is what Japanese people refer to as ‘self responsibility.’ The second reaction is blaming the victims for ‘causing trouble for people in Japan.’ (迷惑をかける)
I have a problem with the second reaction. Sure, sometimes, people are not very street smart and underestimate the danger. But when it comes to professional journalist, I think they have a sense of doing something good for people by telling stories of those who are in tough situations. They take significant risks so that we can know what is going on in the world.
I don’t think people should blame Mr. Goto for taking the risk. He might have been too optimistic, but everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t mean we need to listen to everything that the kidnapper says, but I think he deserves respect.