Jul 23, 2014

Prepping next leaders for denial

After reading innumerable articles over the years about men of power and influence denying scientific evidence of climate change, denying that women should have equal rights, supporting trickle-down economic theory despite its having been proven not to work, and generally opening their mouth and ...

Jul 23, 2014

Switch off sounds of the future

Regarding Michael Hoffman’s July 13 Big in Japan column titled “The high cost of peace and quiet“: Who are these cunning, selfish entrepreneurs who think that they can just barge into any quiet neighborhood and establish a noisy day care center? Outrageous! I’m in ...

Jul 16, 2014

Misguided take on world history

As a schoolboy in England in the late 1940s, I clearly remember seeing much of the world colored in red, the red of the British Empire. We were told that “we controlled one-quarter of the globe.” That empire, with all its faults, was primarily ...

Jul 16, 2014

The all-weather universal hero

Godzilla is one of the most famous monsters in the world. Generally it is often regarded as a symbol of something destructive, strong and, sometimes, heroic. I think of Godzilla as a metaphor that reflects aspects of the times. The original movie, “Godzilla,” was ...

Jul 16, 2014

Biggest responsibility for adults

I read with interest Hitomi Nagahashi’s July 10 letter, “English for third graders lagging.” I agree completely with Nagahashi’s statements that “English education is not just about words and grammar” and that English education “at an earlier age is key to globalizing Japan.” When ...

Jul 16, 2014

Pyongyang could feel cornered

Regarding the July 8 AP article “Bellicose North Korea promises cheer“: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to South Korea, which political analysts judged successful in deepening mutual trust, has cornered North Korea. The missiles fired into the East Sea [before the visit] ...

Jul 12, 2014

Article 9: dead at 67 from fever

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent death of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. The cause of death was attributed to a long-term struggle against a persistent military fever aggravated by nationalism and the malignant growth of Chinese territorial expansion. The ...

Jul 12, 2014

Japan can deal with birth dearth

Every day, those who follow Japanese news are bombarded with stories of its increasingly severe demographic situation: Japanese are getting older and there are too few youth to replace retirees from the workforce. Make no mistake, the negative side of this situation that we’ve ...

Jul 9, 2014

The problem with change is Abe

I’ll add my two pence worth on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party and LDP coalition ally New Komeito changing the interpretation of the Constitution’s Article 9 so that the ban on collective self-defense is dropped. In theory, scrapping a ban on ...

Jul 9, 2014

Selling out a postwar conscience

Japan’s current prime minister is now officially the man who sold out Japan’s postwar pacifist conscience. In his own personal second coming to the position of premiership, and surrounded by the most bellicose Cabinet in 70 years, Shinzo Abe has rammed through a pacifist-piercing ...

Jul 9, 2014

A great nation must face its past

I’m a visitor from the United States who has resided in the Philippines for 12 years. Japan is the friendliest and most well-run country on Earth; however, the constant denials of Japan’s brutality during the “East Asia co-prosperity” years are disheartening, damaging and unnecessary. ...

Jul 9, 2014

Mindset that favors fascism

Regarding Barry Andrew Ward’s June 26 letter, “Scare tactics from the EU tribe“: Leaving aside Ward’s naive view that workers’ rights would be safe under politicians who regard Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron as lily-livered lefties, I would like to focus on his misunderstanding ...