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On a recent business trip to the United States I chatted with some Japanese passengers next to me on the plane about what would be the most useful expressions for travelers with only a little English.

Among us we made a list of a couple dozen expressions and joked about them. But on my return to Tokyo I thought the following list is not nearly as facetious or crazy as it seems: 1. Hands up! 2. Don’t shoot! 3. Everyone on the floor! 4. Put the money in the bag! 5. Do what I say and I won’t hurt you! 6. I want to talk to my lawyer.

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.

grant piper

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