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In his March 2 letter, “Unfair grading of social insight,” Jeff Kingston takes umbrage at a critical review of a book he edited (“Critical Issues in Contemporay Japan”), saying the reviewer “unfairly impugns [his] colleagues professional insights.”

While I am generally sympathetic with professor Kingston’s political reviews, I did not find this review at all unprofessional or unfair. The reviewer simply took note that the articles in the volume seemed to support a similar viewpoint — something I also noticed.

With a volume like this, it is often a good idea to try to find at least one scholar who can articulate a dissenting position (even if it is something the editor finds difficult to swallow). Frankly, given Kingston’s rather large presence on the pages of The Japan Times, I was somewhat relieved to see the newspaper publish a review that took a critical view of one of its own. No problem, I say.

charles muller
tokyo

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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