It is unbelievable how thick, stubborn and stupid the government of Japan is on some essential questions that project the Japanese people’s reputation widely across the world.

Despite the fact that there is no profit in whale meat and that it ends up being part of a school lunch subsidy program for “mystery meat,” the government announces that it will restart so-called scientific whaling operations in 2015.

Despite the fact that there are monthly revelations of how Tokyo Electric Power Co. continues to hide damaging information on the toxicity and leakage at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant — and against the will of the Japanese public — the government of Japan announces that it will be restarting most of Japan’s nuclear power plants.

Despite the fact that many Korean women suffered, as did other Korean citizens, during the Japanese military occupation until the end of World War II, members of the government of Japan continue to suggest that this suffering either did not involve the coercion of women or was an inevitable consequence of wartime conditions — an insult to all women.

So, what’s the matter with Japan’s government?

Fact: All governments make horrible mistakes and all nations make mistakes. That’s history.

Fact: We cannot control what happened in the past. We can only control what we see and face now.

If whaling is economically unnecessary and cruel, why not just end it? As for the use of nuclear power in Japan at present, it is empirically dangerous. Hiding information about accidents doesn’t make it better. It makes it worse.

Refusing to accept the truth about past abuses — in the case of the past exploitation of Korean women — does not help anyone, least of all the women still living who suffered through it.

If all this stubbornness is about national or racial “pride,” well then clearly pride is just bullsh-t.

william enright
vancouver, canada

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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