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Winifred Bird’s Aug. 23 Timeout article, “Japan’s creeping natural disaster,” was simply amazing. As an American foreign resident of Japan who has family living in rural Akita’s Yonaizawa, I understand the point of the article completely. I believe that the balance of nature and human life is the most important thing we can all try to accomplish, and that this article shows how it can happen.

One point stated very well is that the size of a farm is important for sustaining the biodiversity of the ecosystem. I think this is what our governments should consider. If deregulation starts to occur in the agricultural sector after the (Aug. 30 Lower House) elections, and farms in rural areas become larger, Japan’s beautiful and traditional countryside will be devastated.

I can only hope that this information gets out to the people who care about rural Japan. If we work together, anything can be accomplished!

phillip tolar