Learn from Margaret Thatcher

Regarding the April 12 editorial “A decisive but divisive leader“: Once upon the time, the United Kingdom was labeled the “sick old man of Europe.” Margaret Thatcher, a female prime minister, challenged that image and wiped it out.

When I look back on Japan’s political leaders since the end of the Cold War, it seems to me that most of them have lacked an independent mind and a spirit willing to challenge. They’ve paid much attention to what their powerful ally — the U.S. government — had to say, but couldn’t make a decision by themselves.

In many cases, they accepted policies presented and demanded by Washington. They evaded discussion of urgent problems such as the relocation of U.S. military forces in Okinawa, trade problems, the liberalization of Japanese markets, and the privatization of postal and related services. They could not make a decision without listening to the recommendations from the U.S. government.

So I look forward to the emergence of a prime minister for Japan who is strongly determined to devote his political life to building a prosperous, stable and peaceful country without interference from any other country.

I believe that Japan’s prime minister should learn the importance of a strong will and an energized spirit from the superb achievements of Thatcher.

jyouji hamano
shimonoseki, yamaguchi

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.