Sep 6, 2014

Ratings climb on Sotloff video

CNN [last week] showed the video of the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff just as it had shown the video of the beheading of James Foley last month. Before showing the video of Sotloff, a CNN news anchor cautioned that the video was ...

Sep 3, 2014

Cram schools have their place

The Aug. 31 editorial “Is it twilight for cram schools?“made me think of young people’s education and the future of Japan. The editorial points out that at cram schools “students learned how to compete with people rather than cooperate.” It is true they learned ...

Sep 3, 2014

Import foreign universities

In his Aug. 28 letter, “Why universities can’t compete,” Alok Singh challenges professor Takamitsu Sawa’s assessment (Aug. 25) that Japanese universities have failed to develop because of financial disparities in professors’ pay and status. Both Singh and Sawa seem to see the problem as ...

Sep 3, 2014

A disaster waiting to happen

Watching the TV news of the Hiroshima landslide disaster (Aug. 20), I felt anger at those responsible for issuing evacuation warnings, sorrow and pity for the poor victims who were incapable of evacuating on their own initiative, and amazement at the lack of emergency ...

Aug 27, 2014

Why universities can't compete

In his Aug. 25 article, “Japan’s universities can’t win,” professor Takamitsu Sawa has once again written on the all-important topic of university education in Japan. He emphasizes that the noncompetitiveness of Japanese universities internationally is due to relatively poorer funding, especially by the government, ...

Aug 27, 2014

See that changes fit the culture

Professor Takamitsu Sawa is an economist who should know better than to use statistics to extrapolate conclusions that could be misleading or erroneous. In his Aug. 25 article, he neither indicates tuition costs at European universities nor makes comparisons with EU dormitory housing. America ...

Aug 27, 2014

Bank's customers deserve better

Regarding the Aug. 20 Kyodo article “Citibank Japan to withdraw from retail banking business“: Both Japanese and foreign customers of Citibank Japan should pressure the bank to remain in Japan. As most U.S. corporations show zero long-term loyalty to a local community, the bank’s ...

Aug 27, 2014

Dining outdoors Italian style

The usage of the expression “al fresco” to indicate eating outdoors, as in Robbie Swinnerton’s Aug. 20 presentation of “Bakka: Neapolitan-style pizza al fresco in the heart of Shibuya,” is really starting to bother me. In Italy, “al fresco” means “in jail” [or "in ...

Aug 20, 2014

Recognition as special victims

Regarding the July 31 AP article “Last surviving crew member of Enola Gay dead at 93“: On Aug. 13, a Japanese scholar provided his take on the outcome of World War II in The New York Times. It was triggered by the attention given ...

Aug 20, 2014

Japan paid its Pacific War debt

I read recently in my hometown newspaper that Korean and Chinese officials were upset over Japanese officials visiting the shrine to Japan’s war dead. I know about the Pacific War; my father fought in it. He was a member of an underwater demolition team; ...

Aug 20, 2014

Help the 'Well Said' translations

I appreciate the Japanese-language learning columns included in The Japan Times, and read them almost every week. However, I feel that two aspects of the “Well Said” column need improvement. First, the bonus dialogues focus nearly every week on two men talking about dating ...

Aug 13, 2014

Surrender option unacceptable

In response to Aaron Tovish’s Aug. 10 letter, “Children’s deaths were senseless,” I respect the Peace Boat organization, but Tovish’s letter contains some indefensible and incredible historical revisionism about Japan’s surrender in World War II that reflects poorly on that organization’s political agenda. The ...