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James Hicks’ Jan. 20 letter, “Speak out for ‘universal’ standards,” implies that gender equality is a universal, fundamental and ethical standard, and that it is the duty of everyone to speak out about it in Japan.

I would remind Hicks that gender equality is not a universal standard. Far from it. The countries that do abide by it are in the minority, and most of them have started recognizing women’s equality only in recent times. In most countries, women continue to be viewed as inferior and treated as such.

I agree with the view that it is not the job of foreigners to lecture the Japanese about how to improve their way of life, especially when things are not that much better in their own countries in terms of equality.

In America, for example, the plight of American Indians is so bad that President Barack Obama used this inequality to his benefit during the election campaign. The Australians have done the same with the Aborigines, and New Zealand with the Maori. Hicks has the right to his opinion, but he is only a visitor in Japan.

bryan hunt

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