People seem to have become more intolerant and impatient than ever before. For example, when a Japanese scientist who had announced discovering a groundbreaking new technology related to stem cells was suspected of having manipulated and faked some data, the once lionized young woman was treated as if she were a convict. She may have made some mistakes, to be sure, but mass media’s and people’s reactions were too much- more like borderline hysteria. I believe that Japanese people were more tolerant and generous in the past.

The interests of individuals and of our nation have arguably become so intertwined that people cannot decisively find an “answer,” a “hero” or a “friend.” So, they seem to feel that criticism is fair game to fill their need to vent. The Internet world seems to expose an underbelly of humanity, as people are free to argue about everything with others anonymously.

I think it’s a dangerous situation when mindsets that are vulnerable to the tugs of nationalism can be manipulated by opportunists who happen to be good at criticizing people.

With regard not only to diplomatic relations but also on issues related to amending the Constitution, we see a lot of seemingly distorted and partisan information. Under such circumstances, Japanese people must be coolheaded and judicious, remembering that nations ruled by opportunists of fanatical nationalism will end up collapsing.

shuichi john watanabe

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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