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I have been a loyal reader of The Japan Times for the 12 years I have been here. This is my first time to write, but I am driven to address two key points. First, I agree with recent letters that the latest changes of format in this paper were ill-advised and poorly thought out. It seems to be following the general dumbing down of media so prevalent around the world today.

Just because something looks impressive, doesn’t mean it is so. Change for change’s sake alone is usually unsatisfactory. The Japan Times and its readers would have been better served with a change in substance with improved reporting and editorials rather than altering the font size, and with better pictures for the weather report.

It has become clear to me also that The Japan Times needs to better screen its letters to the editor. It seems to have become a bully pulpit for the excessively opinionated, who delight in offering mere statements, with no supporting ideas or factual information to lend credence to their fatuous ideas.

I’m afraid I must take exception to the letters of one Grant Piper. His letter published in the May 1 edition, “Short and to the point,” was simply too much. The pedantic nature of his writing, and the lack of supporting ideas, offer a poor example of how to write an opinion essay to the students of my university. Unsupported and unexplained phrases like “mental radar of intelligent people” and “my condemnation of their depravity” smack of a truly limited vision of the world.

It is my firm belief that writers like this one would be better served by returning to an institution of higher education in their home country, so that they might learn how to more objectively present their ideas and, simultaneously, better serve the students they proffer to care about.

m. randolph