• Tajimi, Gifu

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I
am sure that Hideo Kaito knows what he is talking about in his Aug. 9 letter (“Committed leader or bad clown?“), but I have no idea. Perhaps he is trying to imagine what it’s like being on the victorious side of an Asian nation against the United States or the West. To me, he is just showing the true, two-faced nature of the meaning of friendship in Japanese politics.

At the time of the Vietnam War, I have no doubt what side the Japanese government of the time would have backed. I’m sorry, it would not have been the communists. We can look at how far Japan’s relationship with communism goes by considering its current relationship with North Korea — not to mention its suspicion of China and Russia even though Russia is no longer communist. Japan would have been on the side of democracy and freedom just as it is now, but for how long?

Sure, Japan’s relationship with other communist nations is OK, but then so is the West’s, except in the case of the U.S. and Cuba. And, no, the late former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was not a clown for apologizing. His actions were those of a man humbled after realizing the pain that his mistakes had caused others. This is something the Japanese and the “Eastern spirit” could learn from.

daniel hapeta

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