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I can’t for the life of me understand why Donald Feeney — in his Dec. 1 letter, “Unbalanced article on immigrants” — believes that Hiroaki Sato (Nov. 28 article, “Learning to live with the builders of America”) should feel obligated to bring up Japan in his article on American immigration policies.

Why can’t Sato criticize the United States to his heart’s content? For me, the only question is whether the points he makes are cogent or not. Whenever an opinion-page writer criticizes a country that he or she is not from, many people write letters expressing disapproval. I confess I still don’t see the logic behind this criticism.

Do they think it’s wrong for a Tokyoite to criticize Osaka, or for a New Yorker to criticize the Midwest? Do they really believe that national identity dictates what someone can and can’t say? If they really believe this, I wish they’d explain why.

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.

brett gross

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