Jun 11, 2014

EU pullout would lower wages

Regarding Barry A. Ward’s June 4 letter, “Discontent among Europeans“: Ward seems to have a hazy knowledge of history. If brutal dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hadn’t enjoyed popular support from an ill-informed electorate, they would never have come to power. Hitler ...

Jun 11, 2014

National exam mugging season

The expression “what a bummer!” hit me the other day when I got ripped off for ¥11,700. Since I left school, I’ve been one of the knuckleheads unable to pass the 60-percent grade threshold, sitting every summer for the tour-interpreter test. The once-a-year fee ...

Jun 11, 2014

Abductions by any other name

The June 9 Kyodo article “Japan sends list of 470 potential abductees to North Korea” made me think. No one can begin to criticize the Japanese authorities for continuing to take a firm stand on this issue in the face of continued stalling on ...

Jun 11, 2014

Outsider's remedy for Yasukuni

Occasionally an outsider might help resolve a contentious issue. As an American citizen with great respect for Japan, I would like to offer some thoughts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit in December to Yasukuni Shrine, which is dedicated to soldiers who died in ...

Jun 7, 2014

Brazil big enough for the World Cup

After reading Chikako Nakayama’s May 29 article, “World Cup without succor,” I would like to make a few observations, as the writer failed to grasp two basic aspects of Brazil’s current political and economic state. First, Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world. ...

Jun 4, 2014

A coup from a different view

Regarding the May 29 AP article “Thai troops detain Cabinet minister who blasted coup“: Over the past week I found myself in the midst of the second coup since I came to Thailand, and the news, as reported by the Western media, has appeared ...

Jun 4, 2014

Discontent among Europeans

The June 2 editorial, “Europe takes a beating,” completely mischaracterizes UKIP (the UK Independence Party) by calling it “far right.” Fascist, neo-fascist and Nazi parties are far right in their disregard of democratic procedures, public opinion and the wishes of electorates. Thus “far right” ...

Jun 4, 2014

Rightists controlled by the past

Recent articles about journalist Henry S. Stokes denying that the Nanjing “incident” was a massacre remind me of George Orwell’s comment that “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not ...

May 31, 2014

An urban gem that deserves reassessment

I don’t know if any other Japan Times readers have recently been to the sides of the Kanda and Zenpukuji rivers below Omiya Hachiman Shrine, but it is quite shocking what civil engineers are doing to the environment in the middle of Tokyo. I ...

May 28, 2014

Foreign workers are not robots

Regarding the May 19 article “Success of ‘Abenomics’ hinges on immigration policy“: Japan’s demographic, economic and social future must be planned beyond Abenomics. What the Abe administration seems to be hinting at — an “immigration” policy divorced from an “immigrant” policy — is a ...

May 28, 2014

Helping hand from the military

As a Thai citizen who has been observing the political situation in Thailand closely, I understand that most Japan Times readers might not accept the military coup in Thailand, but this is the best decision Thailand can come to at the moment. We had ...

May 28, 2014

Crack down on unpaid overtime

Regarding the May 21 Bloomberg article “Foreign domestics seen as aiding working mothers“: I have to say that the solution to keeping women in the workplace and to increasing family size lies not with either increasing the number of domestic helpers (which would benefit ...