Sep 17, 2014

Apart from right-wing ideology

Regarding the Sept. 9 AP article “Official history of late Emperor Hirohito dodges controversies“: I think the key to understand its content lies in the following sentence from the article: “The practice of documenting an emperor’s reign follows a Chinese tradition.” The Chinese were ...

Sep 17, 2014

A long way from what we were

Regarding Anotole Kaletsky’s Sept. 9 article, “As the chances of a U.K. split grow, the true costs become more clear“: As a citizen of the Irish Republic, I was disheartened to read his portrayal of “Europe’s most durable nation” [Britain] as one not to ...

Sep 17, 2014

Aim of annual achievement tests

Regarding the Sept. 14 editorial, “Test scores can’t tell all about kids“: It is true, of course, that disclosure of student scores is not the purpose of the annual nationwide achievement tests. The purpose is for educators to use the results wisely in improving ...

Sep 10, 2014

The stripes of Abe's real policies

Regarding the Sept. 5 editorial “Keep a close eye on new Cabinet” and the Sept. 6 editorial “Biggest defense budget requests”: The painted mask on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies is worn thin. We see that, like the appointment of five women to his ...

Sep 10, 2014

Desperate people of Fukushima

In the Sept. 8 Kyodo article “Suicide consultations in Tohoku disaster areas on the rise: report,” The Japan Times contents itself with the banality of statistics. The paper should help the reader understand why so many disaster victims in the Tohoku region feel so ...

Sep 10, 2014

Indispensable British-U.S. effort

I take issue with Gregory Clark’s blanket statement in his Aug. 22 article, “How WWII could have ended,” that “anyone who believes the Western powers did much to bring about that defeat [of Nazi Germany] has been watching too many Normandy documentaries and ‘Saving ...

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 ...