• Sagamihara, Kanagawa

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Regarding the Sept. 15 front-page article “LDP slams Noda over ministers’ miscues“: While I agree that remarks by former trade minister Yoshio Hachiro were out of place at best, I don’t believe that Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki or his opposition party are in a position to slam anyone.

Was it not the LDP that established cozy relations between regulatory bodies and utilities, and was it not the LDP that rejected a call for cooperation by then Prime Minister Naoto Kan after the March 11 disasters?

I do not think that a call for a cigarette tax hike by the health minister is inappropriate. On the contrary, making cigarettes more expensive would most likely reduce the number of smokers and, for that reason, reduce some of the smoking-related health issues and consequently contribute to people’s health.

I also cannot see anything wrong with giving foreigners with permanent residence the right to vote in local elections. Those people live in Japan, pay their dues to society, and contribute to society one way or another. It’s hard enough to get a permanent residency permit, so I think that those people who finally obtain one have proved that they are not going to abuse the voting right.

Is the LDP afraid that some of those foreigners may think a bit deeper on political issues than some Japanese tend to do, and that promising them a few favors won’t be enough to win their votes?

Finally, what is wrong with politicians’ receiving donations from those who are second- or third-generation “foreigners” living in this country, particularly when you consider that their current Japanese names were forced on their ancestors? In most countries, they would have been naturalized and granted citizenship long ago.

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.

manfred baur

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