Another interesting set of questions! I don't know that we've actually distinguished ourselves from the Japanese, have we? I mean, it sounds as though everybody assumes we have, but I'm not sure that we have any support of this. American attitudes toward authority and group-think seem to me to be quite close to the Japanese. I can remember very clearly reading about the Milgram experiments with open-mouthed shock when I was a kid.
This connection with the Zimbardo experiments throws considerable light on some of the questions brought up by Huan Yi in regard to the Japanese; and it extends it further into a discussion of our own American culture. Furthermore it suggests links to the horrible events in Iraq. Zimbardo was a witness for the defense, by the way, and offered one of the few understandable explanations to the question "How could we allow this to happen?" that seems to have any intellectual solidity to it.
I previously left a link to the Milgram experiments, but, as I add this link, I don't see it here. My experience with this software, however, tells me that it's probably here someplace, simply waiting to spring at me from hiding. If it doesn't show up within a reasonable amount of time, a simple google of Milgram or Stanley Milgram will offer you some Interesting information about the human capacity for ho-hum evil.
Here is a Milgram reference:
[This message has been edited by Bob K (02-08-2008 10:38 PM).]