I agree with Setsuko Tokita (“America has its own atrocities,” April 18) that the United States has no reason to be proud of certain chapters of its history, including slavery, as well as the forced relocation and extermination of most of the Native American population. However, to my knowledge, no American leader in recent history has tried to whitewash these shameful events, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has done with the “comfort women.” Just imagine if an American president said that the transportation and enslavement of Africans in North America had involved “some abuses,” but was good for the economic development of the country. I doubt that he would be able to stay in office.

Tokita says that the Japanese government’s attitude toward the comfort women is “of big concern in America.” True, the U.S. Congress is debating a resolution, but I doubt that most Americans, preoccupied by the war in Iraq, even know who the “comfort women” are.

donald m. seekins

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