| 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 ...

| Sep 1, 2009

Lay off the linguistics to address English lag

Dear education minister Ryu Shionoya, Many reasons have been proposed for the relative failure of Japanese to learn foreign languages well, despite their great effort. The Japanese obsession with native speakers is one problem. The traditional grammar translation method of teaching and the impractical ...

| Aug 18, 2009

Power harassment plagues workplaces

Dear Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Yoichi Masuzoe, I can still recall the phone conversation with my spouse on June 2, when I was crying profusely due to harassment at work. Earlier that day, the manager of my unit asked me to resign, ...

| Jul 28, 2009

Pocket knife lands tourist, 74, in lockup

To the Japanese government and law enforcement authorities, I’m writing this letter to all of you because I feel it’s in your best interest to understand how dangerous it is for tourists to visit Japan. On July 2 in Shinjuku, a 74-year-old American tourist ...

| Jul 7, 2009

Calderon case shows need for new mind-set

Dear Japanese lawmakers, In mid-March, I opened up my newspaper to find an article about the government granting one-year temporary resident status to Noriko Calderon, an ethnic Filipino girl. I was shocked by the news because Noriko was born and raised in Japan. And ...

| Jun 30, 2009

'Reefer madness' hits Japan's shores

To the Japanese government and law enforcement authorities, There has been a lot of discussion about marijuana in Japan recently. Some people have gone as far as to call it the start of a panic. Research what happened in America a few decades ago ...