• Winona, Missouri


In regard to the Oct. 22 article, “Briton aims to restore poets’ peak to former glory“, Stephen Gills, along with all the NGO volunteers, is to be commended for his efforts to clean-up Mount Ogura. The Kyoto-based environmentalist Okiharu Maeda deserves national recognition for his efforts as well.

Thankfully, the haiku master Matsuo Basho never lived to see his beloved Ogura become a dumping site for every lowlife construction company in Kyoto. But the spread of such detritus isn’t limited to the Kansai region. Everywhere I’ve traveled in Japan I noticed illegal dumping of garbage.

Some years ago I took a short trip in Vietnam near Hanoi. There’s a famous Buddhist temple located at the top of a small mountain near the capital city. Hiking for two or three hours to reach the temple was an ordeal. Not because of the elevation, but because all along the hiking trail were huge piles of uncollected rubbish. The vendors along the trail just threw their garbage behind their shops at the end of each day. Japan must not let this happen in places like Mount Tsukuba or Mount Ogura.

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.

robert mckinney

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