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I don’t want to cross swords with Donald Wood, as I agree with most of what he says in his Oct. 2 letter, “Japanese leaders will find a way,” but not with all. He misses the point of my Sept. 25 letter (“Mixed American views of Japan”).

I did not say or imply that the Japanese response to the March 11 crises has any connection with Japan’s seeking a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. I did say the current U.S. administration and people — and not just a few of my friends — view Japan as an unreliable and untrustworthy friend and ally primarily because of its body politic. The debacle of the effort to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Okinawa, springs readily to mind as an example.

This condition is deeply entrenched and is not related to the disaster in the Tohoku-Pacific region, for which those residents have received admiration, sympathy and succor from all over the world, including the United States and my few friends.

Yes, Wood is right to point the accusing finger at those long responsible for Japan’s decline, but not at former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who, despite his mistakes, received praise from abroad for his sterling efforts in the unprecedented crises of March 11.

As for Wood’s belief in Japanese leadership finding a way, first we need a leader, and who would that be?

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.

paul gaysford

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