• Yokohama, Kanagawa

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Regarding Grant Piper’s Aug. 23 letter, “Letter from an alternate universe“: While it is true we do not hear too much from “the far right” in Readers in Council, Piper’s response to Satsuo Matsumoto’s Aug. 20 letter (“Left keeps trying to disgrace Japan“) has me wondering whether we live in the same Japan. I will not say that most of my Japanese friends are of the same persuasion as Matsumoto, but of those who would venture an opinion on the subject of wartime guilt, in my experience, the Matsumotos are in a definite majority.

It seems rather disingenuous to pass off such beliefs as the ranting of a lunatic fringe when they are uncomfortably close to mainstream. After all, this is a country where Shintaro Ishihara gets elected mayor of the most progressive city. When I read The Japan Times, the impression I get, especially from its editorial content, is of a distinctively — and often depressingly — right-leaning newspaper, but your average Japanese most certainly does not view the paper this way. I can tell you that all of the Japanese readers of The Japan Times whom I know would agree with Matsumoto that it is “part of the left.”

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