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Global corruption

Editorial Japan Times July 20, 2013 More than half of the people surveyed by the Berlin-based nonprofit group Transparency International think that global corruption has worsened over the past two years. The largest public opinion survey on corruption, the groups Global orruption Baro!eter, surveyed over "##,### people in "#$ countries. Its findings are a discouraging !easure of the worlds eroding trust in the very institutions !eant to help people. Most respondents felt that official anti-corruption !easures had deteriorated because of the continuing world financial and econo!ic crisis. In all of the countries surveyed, political parties were perceived as being the !ost corrupt institution, with the police and the %udiciary close behind. Two of three people stated that rather than a direct bribe, the usual !ode of corruption & personal contacts and relationships & have beco!e the for! corruption takes in the public sector. 'ver half of people surveyed felt their govern!ent was run by groups acting in their own self-interest rather than for that of citi(ens. In )apan, ** percent of respondents said the )apanese govern!ent is largely run by a few big interests. That percentage !ay be lower than in so!e other '+ , countries, but it is still e-tre!ely high. Bribery is also relatively low in )apan, but )apanese ranked the corruption of all public institutions at . to * on a scale of /. 0ike the rest of the world, )apanese ranked political parties and the legislature as the !ost corrupt institutions. 'n the upside, nearly 1. percent of )apanese respondents said they would willingly involve the!selves in activities to reduce corruption even though the !ost co!!on reason given for not reporting corruption was the belief that doing so would not !ake any difference. That indicates an e-tre!e lack of confidence in e-isting laws and institutions. ,espite that, roughly three2uarters of )apanese surveyed said ordinary people could !ake a difference. The surveys results indicate that the rule of law and de!ocratic processes are !et with skepticis! around the world, and )apan is no e-ception. To co!bat corruption, )apanese political parties and govern!ent officials and ordinary people should work to hold those responsible for corruption to account. The laws to prosecute corruption are in place, but they !ust be used. Those who trade on their contacts for their own self-interest in a corrupt !anner deserve to be e-posed and held accountable for their actions. orruption is !ore than %ust a way for the powerful and well-connected to enrich the!selves and advance their own selfish interests. orruption disrupts and disturbs peoples belief in de!ocracy and trust in institutions, under!ining the foundations of a free and fair society.