• Bothell, Wash.


I am gravely disappointed in the comments of Paolo Aggio, the subject of the Dec. 7 Who’s Who article, “Italian baker gives new life to old Tochigi warehouse.” Aggio yearns for the “good old Japan” — by that he means all of 22 years ago! — and he cannot say good things about the opportunities that Japan has given him without slamming the United States.

His sigh at the “Americanization” of Japan is laughable. More likely than not, Aggio also blames that old chestnut Westernization, which, by the way, includes him and his beloved Italy. I’m sure there are MANY Japanese men who dislike him immediately for having married a Japanese woman.

Aside from that, doesn’t he realize that by slamming the U.S., which has given many Italians a good life, he is also slamming Japan, his adopted country? Effectively he is saying that Japan plays no part in this “Americanization.” Obviously he does not yet fully understand the long, complicated history that Japan and the U.S. share. The memory of Dec. 7, 1941, is one reason I decided to write. Does Aggio know what happened that day?

Aggio should stop deriding other nations, especially if he wants to sell his bread. Many of the tourists to Japan are Americans. Is he going to refuse to sell to them? I thought not. I wish I could mentally staple Aggio’s comments in The Japan Times to the front of his shop door every time an American debated whether to go in.

By the way, I am not an American — just an educated person who would never long for “the good old Japan,” even though I lived there longer than Aggio. To him I say, all the best with your present business methods, but I won’t be visiting your shop.

jennifer hansen

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