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Regarding the Nov. 25 editorial “Mr. Aso needs to be serious“: One can only hope that Japan’s prime minister will not make a comic twist of this advice, given that he is a self-proclaimed manga fan. I am not quite sure if Taro Aso is doing the job of a prime minister, but he undoubtedly enjoys the job.

Let me retell a Chinese folk tale to make my point: Long ago there lived a sage in China who was very wise and who had all the answers to people’s problems. The sage liked to go to a riverbank and spend the whole day fishing.

Since he did not attach any bait to the hook of his fishing rod, he would not catch any fish. Yet, after sunset, he would return home very contented. People were bewildered that their respected sage did not seem to understand that he could not catch fish without bait. The news spread and reached the ears of the emperor, who summoned the sage to the palace.

When asked why he fished without bait, the sage said he liked to fish but not to catch fish. The emperor found the answer comical and made him the chief minister of the palace. Could it be that Aso is such a modern-day sage?

u thet tun

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