| Jun 8, 2010

Farewell haiku for Hatoyama

Dear Yukio Hatoyama, Leaving your office, your staff gave you a taxpayer-funded bouquet of flowers. Your pregnant term did not even last nine months. I’d like to give you something more personal from my heart, to show my love for my country of choice, ...

| May 11, 2010

University EFL hiring: garbage in, garbage out

Dear minister of education Tatsuo Kawabata, I wish to draw your attention to practices in university English departments in Japan that are by their very nature counterproductive and often harmful to the acquisition of English as a foreign language. I have been a university ...

| Apr 27, 2010

Hatoyama, credibility of Japan is at stake

Dear Prime Minister Hatoyama, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” These are some of the famous words of Shakespeare. I am not quite sure which category he would have put you in, but I personally think ...

| Apr 20, 2010

DVD should be seen by all in divorce process

Dear Prime Minister Hatoyama, Around 1 in 4 children in Japan is affected by divorce. When parents go through a divorce or separation, it is sometimes necessary for courts to step in and protect our most innocent, valuable resource: our children. It has come ...

| Apr 13, 2010

Opening up to foreign doctors positive move

Dear Administrative Reform Minister Yoshito Sengoku, In a country that dares to be a democracy, your courageous ideas are certain to attract controversy and debate. Please let me offer tentative support for your proposal to allow qualified international doctors to practice medicine without taking ...

| Mar 30, 2010

A little girl lost in Japan

Dear Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, I am a grandmother. When I walk through my family room I see all the smiling faces of my dear family members. One little girl smiles back at me from her many photos on the shelf above the fireplace. ...

| Mar 9, 2010

Belt up — protect our children

To the ministry of education, My son will begin kindergarten in April of this year and I am very much concerned for his safety. My wife and I have been inundated with demands about the things we must buy, and the things we need ...

| Dec 29, 2009

Reconciliatory value of a visit to Nanjing

Dear Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, You have repeatedly emphasized the need for the creation of an East Asian community. You wrote in the New York Times in August: “The East Asian region, which is showing increasing vitality, must be recognized as Japan’s basic sphere ...

| Nov 17, 2009

U.S. nuclear arms in Japan: a firsthand account

Dear Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, In the fall of 1980 I was assigned as a civilian university professor to provide Japanese language instruction to the officers and men of the USS Knox (FF-1052), a destroyer home-ported in Yokosuka. Sharing quarters with the ship’s nuclear ...

| Nov 17, 2009

U.S. nuclear arms in Japan: a firsthand account

Dear Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, In the fall of 1980 I was assigned as a civilian university professor to provide Japanese language instruction to the officers and men of the USS Knox (FF-1052), a destroyer home-ported in Yokosuka. Sharing quarters with the ship’s nuclear ...

| Sep 15, 2009

Stamp out scandal of tipping in hospitals

Dear incoming minister of health, Japanese travel guides advise visitors that there is seldom any reason to tip in Japan. Luckily, tourists rarely have any reason to visit Japanese hospitals, or they might be in for a rude awakening. A Japanese relative of mine’s ...