Feb 12, 2014

Contrary to the apologetic spirit

With regard to Franz Pichler’s Feb. 6 letter, “Get on with a positive future,” I’d like to add my two-pence worth. Pichler hopes that “people in Europe gain some information before starting to judge the Japan of almost 70 years ago.” He also mentions ...

Feb 12, 2014

Close Futenma unconditionally

Both Washington and Tokyo threaten the Okinawan people when they make comments to the effect that if the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is not relocated to Henoko (northern part of Okinawa Island), it will remain at the present site (Ginowan) permanently and ...

Feb 12, 2014

Let the Chinese see the real Japan

Regarding the Feb. 7 Kyodo/AP article “U.S. warns China over ‘risky’ activity near Senkakus“: Some eminent Japanese scholars argue that China seeks to establish domination of the Pacific and won’t stop expanding its military capability unless Japan restrains it. But do the Chinese people ...

Feb 8, 2014

What's eating the protesters?

My question is why not [kill whales off Antarctica]? I ask the question respectfully because I do not yet have an answer. In an otherwise nicely balanced article with quite interesting historical background and devoid of the emotional hysteria that usually accompanies articles on ...

Feb 8, 2014

Saddest word in the language

For a while my least favorite Japanese word was gareki (debris), because for ages after the 3/11 tsunami, the talk was about cleaning up all the irradiated debris. The instant mental associations were pretty sad. Then, for a short time, my least favorite word ...

Feb 5, 2014

Japan's democratic credentials

Regarding Hugh Cortazzi’s Jan. 25 article, “Playing with fire is dangerous“: With all due respect, Cortazzi seems misinformed about the history of Japan. In the interests of a balanced view, let me point out one crucial misunderstanding that prevails in English-speaking media: that after ...

Feb 5, 2014

Let's not ban the fun at Zushi

Regarding the Jan. 30 front-page article “Zushi looks to tame its unruly summer beach“: The people of Zushi and city officials point out that young beachgoers are too wild and out of control. Huh? They’re just having some good old-fashioned summer fun. Under whose ...

Feb 5, 2014

Market skewed to anemic wages

Regarding the Feb. 4 Bloomberg article “Workers stumble while ‘Abenomics’ soars“: Japan’s wages are, and always have been, anemic. Among the many explanations for this, some say it is a hangover from Japan’s extinct lifetime employment system, where lifelong job security compensated for lower ...

Feb 5, 2014

Atrocities in the name of tradition

There are hundreds of distressing images of Taiji that are being circulated worldwide in a growing wave of anti Japanese feeling. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed himself up trying to hide the operation in Taiji behind a “whaling tradition.” Taiji is nothing more than ...

Feb 1, 2014

Don't make sports such a chore for kids

I want to respond to the Dec. 22 editorial “Students neglect physical exercise.” I agree that children are playing more computer games and are less active outside. I have a child in elementary school and I see that children whose parents are physically active ...

Feb 1, 2014

Love for classical music came late

Regarding David Cozy’s Jan. 19 article, “Chanelling Bronte to write a true classic,” I agree with Cozy’s review of Minae Mizumura’s “A True Novel,” except on one point. Cozy writes that Mizumura bungles her depiction of the upper class in Japan and that her ...

Feb 1, 2014

Anti-nuclear 'fad' belies the passion

Regarding the Jan. 26 AP article “Tokyo race focuses on nuke issue”: I understand the strong public feeling against nuclear power that is a reaction to the 2011 Fukushima crisis. But I regard it more as a fad resulting from a situation that is ...