• Otaru, Hokkaido

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Regarding C.W. Nicol’s Nov. 4 column: “Breaking new ground with our Tohoku school in the woods“: Nicol must really be fed up with Japan’s infrastructure ministry and the lapdog politicians who will do anything to win a public works bid, and then pass on the higher construction costs to the hapless taxpayer.

Nicol is most eloquent when he writes: [Our opponents are] mostly die-hard construction officials who love concrete, and a few politicians reared on a diet of kickbacks, who, like the wild raccoon dogs in the hills, always seem to crap in the same places.”

I suspect that this isn’t the first time Nicol has had to deal with such offish officials and their buddies in the “Concrete Ministry.” But I was delighted to learn that Nicol is contributing to the reconstruction of the Tohoku region with a school built mainly from lumber products, while also offering support to victims of the 3/11 tsunami/quake disaster.

Japan has a long history of using wood in major construction projects. Look at all the magnificent wooden Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines across Japan that have weathered earthquakes and storms for many centuries and yet still stand. Ministry officials should take note. But then again, there is more money to be made in concrete, right?

Don’t you sometimes wish that concrete and plastic were never invented?! How different our world would be.

I hope the new school in Tohoku’s woodlands is a great success.

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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