Income disparity is not like it is in the U.S., with its ever-widening gaps between the top and the bottom. In Japan, a salaryman obviously earns more than a tea lady, and the head of Mitsubishi obviously earns more than a salaryman. But they all benefit from the same health care system. An MRI costs the same for each. They’re all in it together, as they are in resurrecting their country from this latest disaster.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.