May 17, 2014

Remarks smack of church-bashing

Regarding Hugh Cortazzi’s May 14 article, “Human rights and religion“: It’s pretty obvious that, with regard to Roman Catholicism’s all-male clergy, Cortazzi has not bothered to at least give a fair hearing to the church’s side of the issue. If he had bothered, he ...

May 14, 2014

Imagination as a force for peace

We should welcome the hibakusha mind, as proposed by Peruvian diplomat Enrique Roman-Morey in the May 11 Kyodo article “Citizens need hibakusha ‘minds.’ ” As an exercise in diplomacy, it beats tweeting about dolphin kills. (In January, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted: ...

May 14, 2014

Where the war buck stopped

With regard to Timothy Bedwell’s letter, “Denier won’t let war wounds heal,” I’d like to add my two pence worth. Bedwell is quite right to mention, sarcastically, that “everything Japan has ever done in its history was really just about it trying to be ...

May 14, 2014

The overall desire to conform

Regarding Getironic’s May 11 letter, “Ego therapy, collectivism or something else”: It’s equally as tempting to psychoanalyze the desire to conform, wear polo shirts and listen to Kenny G [as it is to psychoanalyze the desire for a tattoo]. The conformity of the mainstream ...

May 14, 2014

Effects of bullying as bad as ever

Regarding the May 9 article “LGBT bullying rife in schools“: Bullying is something that many people who are reading this can relate to. It’s not limited only to children in schools, because it can easily transition into the workplace. Simply because we don’t hear ...

May 14, 2014

Sex slave's story from Indonesia

In his May 8 letter “Fictions aimed at milking Japan,” Koichi Katsuta claims that comfort women were “just prostitutes who earned a lot of money.” Perhaps there were some in this category, but can he claim they all were? Perhaps he should read the ...

May 14, 2014

Give English market incentives

Regarding the May 4 editorial “Test problems here and abroad“: Despite frequent criticism of the TOEIC and TOEFL, their results usually give a fairly good idea of examinees’ English skills. Those exams at least provide a motive to study. English education in Japan leaves ...

May 14, 2014

Ministry's self-contained box

Regarding the May 11 editorial “Good example of English use“: For the Japanese education ministry to promote such a limited and belated use of English — as, say, hiring an English speaker to help with meetings — may fall hopelessly short of the “good ...

May 14, 2014

Vulgar model for adolescents

It was rather shocking to read some of the racist remarks with which North Korea’s state run media assailed U.S. President Barack Obama recently. One wonders what sort of crude remarks the Washington establishment has made about Kim Jong Un since he assumed power. ...

May 10, 2014

Vested interests in the test world

Regarding the May 4 editorial “Test problems here and abroad“: The fraudulent visa application problems caused by a couple of criminal schools on the other side of the planet is just a tempest in the TOEIC cup with scant or zero relevance to foreign-language ...

May 10, 2014

Deniers won't let war wounds heal

Regarding Koichi Katsuta’s May 8 letter, “Fictions aimed at milking Japan“: Nationalists like Katsuta love to claim that Japan was the victim nation in World War II and that [claims of atrocities] were all lies to hurt Japan. He says the use of the ...

May 7, 2014

NHK failing its public mission

Regarding the May 3 article “Viewers target NHK chief Momii“: This charade has been going on too long for the good of the nation. If NHK Chairman Katsuto Momii is reluctant to resign to resolve the problem that he created in the first place, ...