C.W. Nicol’s Nov. 3 article, “Hybrid furniture and the working horse” — about what could be done to turn Japan’s neglected forests into useful, productive, beautiful areas — is inspiring.

Healthy forests provide wood for furniture and house construction as well as walking space between the trees for people to relax from their hectic everyday life and to breathe in fresh air.

In my country, Switzerland, forests are well cared for — not just for the benefit of harvesting lumber but also for protection from natural disasters and for leisure and tourism.

It would be a good thing to promote forestry among young people looking for a job. Working as a forester would certainly prove more interesting and, above all, healthier than sitting at an office desk from morning to night, or doing the odd part-time jobs that become the lot for many job-seekers nowadays.

I think many more people should work outside, in the woods as foresters and in the fields as farmers. The land that a country owns — regardless of whether it is flat, mountainous or woodland — should be taken care of for the good of the people. Nowadays industry has taken over, but a balance between industry, agriculture and forestry is necessary for the welfare of a country.

Working out in nature will also induce respect for the land and the environment, which is so much needed today. I hope Nicol’s project draws many people’s attention and grows throughout Japan.

katharina okano
abiko, chiba

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.

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