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In her March 21 letter, “Is U.S. qualified to throw stones?,” Noriko Yoshimoto exhibits the “we poor Japanese” attitude on display at places like Yasukuni Shrine and Chiran Peace Museum for kamikaze pilots. With regard to “comfort women,” Yoshimoto asks if the United States “is qualified to poke its nose into a very sensitive, 60-year-old issue of another country?”

The answer is yes, especially when one of our biggest allies flip-flops and whitewashes World War II-related issues that are sensitive not only in Japan but also in many Asian nations.

The U.S. media is not “always negative and hostile” toward Japan. We often look back on our misdeeds and remember those we have mistreated. In March, Idaho’s two U.S. senators and Rep. Mike Simpson introduced legislation to expand the Minidoka National Historic Site, one of 10 wartime internment camps.

This same legislation also authorizes expansion of the Bainbridge Island site in Washington, which will house the Nido to nai yo ni (“Let it not happen again”) memorial. Government officials were quoted as saying, “History is taught so that we replicate the good and don’t repeat the bad.” When Japan stops changing positions and whitewashing past mistakes, “sensitive 60-year-old issues” can finally be put to rest.

b.k. cottle

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