March 21, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Corrective Actions Japanese Style – Fire the Admiral

 Images Photos2008 Nn20080220A1A
(Bow of fishing trawler before sinking
after being hit by the Japanese Self-Defense
Forces Aegis destroyer, Atago)

The investigation into the cause of the crash of a 30+ foot fishing trawler with a Japanese destroyer is still underway, but the first corrective action – firing the Chief of Japan’s Navy, Admiral Eiji Yoshikawa (photo below) – has already been completed.
Picture 46

Blame is an interesting concept. But is it effective in improving performance?

In the US, the first fired are usually the last people  to touch whatever it was that caused the problem. In this case, those “held responsible” would usually be the Commanding Officer of the ship, the Officer of the Deck, and perhaps a lookout.

In Japan, discipline seems to start at the top (or near it) and work it’s way down.

Will either form of discipline improve performance?

Not if the root causes of the accidents aren’t uncovered and corrected by a thorough accident investigation.

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