Thanks for a 50-year relationship

In April I will have subscribed to The Japan Times newspaper for 50 years! In high school, I bought both a Japanese and an English-language newspaper. I would read the former, then try to read similar articles in English. When I was a freshman in college, my senpai (senior) advised me to keep reading The Japan Times.

The paper has turned out to be the best English-language newspaper in Japan. I fully understand this now. Frankly speaking, at first I was not interested in reading economic and political articles — the main topics for most papers — but as I read them in The Japan Times, I became interested.

Like most Japanese students in high school, I was prejudiced against “school English” grammar. But I came to realize that the school grammar we had learned in school was used in the best English-language newspaper. With that “discovery,” I could say with confidence that school grammar was useful after all.

To improve my writing skills, I sent my first letter to Readers In Council around 1984, when South Korea’s president visited Japan. Fortunately it was accepted! I remember the letter was on racial prejudice. So far, more than 130 of my letters have been printed.

Without this English-language newspaper, it would have been hard to think about my everyday life after retirement. Kyuukanbi (newspaper holiday) is an unhappy day for me. …

I hope that your esteemed English-language newspaper prospers forever. Thank you very much for the latest news so far.

masayuki aihara

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.