• Honolulu


I laughed while reading Marvin Motsenbocker’s Feb. 16 letter, “Japan remains the best choice,” which sounds like a European elitist rant against America for gobbling up resources and being a dump, gun-crazy, uncivil, blah, blah, blah.

If it hadn’t been for terrible America during World War II, Japan would have kept on slaughtering its way across the rest of Asia. So, yes, let’s talk about Japan in terms of the major world problems that Motsenbocker listed:

(1) Overpopulation. Is it any surprise that the population is going down in Japan? Why bring a child into that kind of world? Every single Japanese woman I’ve talked to (here in the United States) has told me that she never wants to go back to Japan.

(2) Global warming. This point left me in tears. Japan has destroyed much of its countryside, polluting it with dioxins and God knows what else. Surrounding waters are fished out and toxic as well. Thanks to a handful of forward-thinking environmentalists at the grass-roots level, there is still a Japan left to salvage.

(3) Economics. Sure, Japan owes most of its debt to its people and institutions. Congratulations. Who cares? Japan’s government is still massively in debt — same as America and the rest of the world.

(4) Civility. Yeah, Japan is civil. But underneath lies a simmering contempt for non-Japanese people. If they could, many Japanese would boot every foreigner out.

(5) Transportation. Japan has a great rail system. But the Japanese HATE riding on their trains because they’re so overcrowded. Incidentally, I’m not one who is “trapped” in the suburbs and needing a car. I’m free — I drive a very energy-efficient car and ride my bike when I want to.

Do you want to know why Japanese young people these days are often considered “soft”? It’s because of an attitude that says, why try? It’s called hopelessness — thanks to the Japanese government and its do-nothing-ever-to-help-its-people policies.

Japan will come back; of that I’m sure. But the revival will have nothing to do with Motsenbocker’s drivel. Japanese people will rise up like everyone else — if history is any lesson — when they’ve had enough. That’s the day I’m looking forward to, because Japanese people are some of the best in the world. They deserve much better.

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.

patrick byrne

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