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Regarding the 20 Questions column in the Dec. 13 issue titled “Pursue what you love … be a Santa if you want,” it was interesting to read that Santa Paradise Yamamoto recently became the first authorized Santa from Japan. Your fun little interview, however, shocked me at question No. 11, when Santa declared a strong preference for regular gyoza because “Japan invented this type, not China.”

In my many years of fond Christmas memories celebrated in several different countries and cultures around the world, not once do I remember a Santa being so nationalistic, dare I say discriminatory. As far as I know, a real Santa would never point out that one child’s country, customs, or in this case foods, were better than any other child’s. The few small words Yamamoto chose to express his passion for gyoza hold a very ugly underlying meaning; this is not the message I want my children learning from Santa Claus.

I’d like to remind Yamamoto that the children he will visit in hospitals and hotels across Japan this Christmas are not only the children of Japanese, but are also the children of the many other beautiful people who now make up Japan. The role Yamamoto has been given as Japan’s first real Santa is a great responsibility. A real Santa needs more than just the right body shape and a child of his own. A real Santa needs an incredibly large heart filled with love, tolerance, and acceptance of all people, not just his own.

Marne Saddy
KITAKYUSHU

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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