• Chikushino, Fukuoka

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Regarding the June 18 Kyodo article “First sports law since ’61 enacted“: How will promoting sports cut medical spending? Some of the worst injuries are caused by sports. If there was an incentive to exercise safely, that might help reduce unnecessary spending, but to suggest that pushing sports down people’s throats is a guarantee of lower medical spending is crack-brained.

There are many other problems caused by sports that the government needs to address first. The recently uncovered sumo scandal is unlikely to have been limited to a single sport. The huge sums that some sports players earn must be a drain on the economy. The amount of money squandered locally and nationally on promoting sports such as Tokyo’s recurrent bids to host the Olympic Games must also bring into question the idea of correlating financial health with sports.

Another anomaly is the amount spent on sports in tertiary education when the huge budget it entails might be better spent on improving woefully low teaching standards. The government cannot even afford to properly fund its incentive to introduce elementary school English this year. Given the history of bureaucratic incompetence such as the national health insurance fiasco and the recent disasters that threaten to bankrupt Japan, it may be better to make some reality checks first.

The best way to cut medical spending is to eradicate the decades-old culture of corruption at all levels, and to overhaul an outdated and inefficient system bequeathed to the less-than-two-year-old present Democratic Party of Japan government by the previous Liberal Democratic Party government and its half century of blatantly bad leadership.

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The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

david wood

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