For Ava Benny-Morrison's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Dec 2, 2007
I've always believed that each nationality has the same capacity for good and bad. Previous generations of English and Americans have portrayed the Japanese as coldhearted people with little concern for the suffering of others. In my family this was partly a result of experiences in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps during World War II. I still believe, though, that with the same history and circumstances any race would behave in a similar manner.
Sep 16, 2007
Regarding a recent article on promoting tourism to Japan: It is true that Kyoto is struggling with how to change itself into one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. I think one reason Kyoto is not a popular travel destination is that the quality of people who professionally deal with foreign tourists is not well developed. The saddest thing I've noticed, for example, is that a lot of tour guides for foreign travelers still use the word "gaijin" when referring to foreigners. For some foreigners, that word sounds very offensive and racist.
Aug 26, 2007
Despite preliminary testing in the New Mexican desert, I think it is fair to say that no one could possibly have fully understood the horror of an atomic blast -- especially a detonation over an urban area -- before it was actually done in August 1945. This undermines all anti-atomic bomb arguments that feature the barbarism and the absolute ethical horror of it.
Aug 19, 2007
What cheek! Asashoryu wins the Nagoya basho (for his 21st grand sumo tournament victory), then spurns his loyal fans in eastern Japan by telling everyone that injuries prevent him from participating in the August tour. Then he summarily flies to Mongolia and plays in a soccer match, allowing a television crew to film just how sick he is!?
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