Jun 25, 2014

Duty-free reform off the mark

Regarding the June 18 Kyodo article “Duty-free reform to boost tourism“: I feel that this initiative will have little effect on tourist numbers. To Western visitors, Japan is very “foreign”; prospective tourists are nervous at the prospect of a visit. This duty-free initiative is ...

Jun 25, 2014

A plea for more public seating

“Duty-free reform to boost tourism” and the June 18 article “Narita Express train headed to Mount Fuji” are more ideas to boost foreign tourism in Japan, to encourage people to visit and shop here, and to make the country more inviting. Because Japan is ...

Jun 25, 2014

Tired of supporting 'nonsense'

Regarding the June 19 Jiji article “Nation’s whaling program up against the wall“: I wonder about the paragraph that begins with “While the country is eager to resume commercial whaling …” What do the writers mean by “the country”? They can’t mean “the Japanese ...

Jun 21, 2014

Everybody must take on bullying

Reading Walt Gardner’s June 1 article, “Bullying weakens Japanese, U.S. schools,” made me feel really sad — not only because bullying of students in Japan, no matter who they are, seems to be rife at the moment but also because it is a problem ...

Jun 18, 2014

Hashimoto owes liberty to Allies

Regarding the June 17 article “Hashimoto says WWII Allies set up ‘comfort stations’ after soldiers committed D-Day rapes“: How dare that buffoon Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto insult the Allied soldiers who fought at D-Day! Doesn’t he realize that the Allies fought and died to ...

Jun 18, 2014

Sign of Egypt's new beginnings

Last July 17, The Japan Times published a balanced editorial, “When a coup is not a coup?,” highlighting reasons behind Egypt’s popular revolution on June 30, 2013, against the Muslim Brothers’ radicalism and despotic attempts to send Egypt back to the Middle Ages. However, ...

Jun 18, 2014

Many elderly up against the wall

These days the aging society is becoming a big problem in Japan. It is difficult for family members to care for elderly people by themselves, and family members need knowledge of nursing. Many elderly people and their families are suffering. A good way to ...

Jun 18, 2014

Joint development of resources

Regarding the June 8 wire service article “Abe holds talks with Pope Francis“: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reported to have talked with Pope Francis about ways of promoting peace and stability in Asia. East Asia is riven with tensions over the large number ...

Jun 14, 2014

Did Edo ancestors have a better life?

“Boohoo, boohoo, life is such a bore!” It must be a living death to be chained to a corporate desk from morning until late evening, five or even six days a week. And most Japanese salarymen are dragooned into attending their company’s annual summer ...

Jun 11, 2014

New paradigm for the Olympics

Regarding the June 2 Reuters article “Architect blasts new Tokyo Olympics stadium as ‘a sin, a crime’ “: The pleas by the Japan Sports Council and by architect Edward Suzuki do not really contain in my mind a reasonable and convincing critique of the ...

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 ...