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On the morning of Sept. 15 we were once again startled by the national alert system because North Korea had launched another large missile over Japan. I suppose the government wants everyone to believe that it is protecting them, and to have a sense of safety and security regarding this steadily worsening situation.

But I have some questions: Why do some countries pursue the same strategy of increased pressure and sanctions again and again, expecting different results? Why doesn’t the United States, which is far more powerful, back off a bit and talk about peace instead of war? Why do South Korea and Japan continue to follow the U.S. blindly instead of thinking more creatively regarding North Korea, even though they are the ones with all of their people on the front lines?

We need an intelligent debate on all potential answers to these questions, not more chest-pounding and posturing. And returning to the issue of the safety and security of the residents of Japan, I would like to pose one question in particular to the Abe administration: Why is there so much hyperventilation over North Korea’s missiles but so little apparent concern about the perils of starting up nuclear reactors, such as those in Niigata? Aside from natural dangers and human error, the government should think about the possibility of North Korea striking an operational reactor with even a small missile, in the event that war actually breaks out. Sadly, the likelihood of war appears to be growing, due mainly to the failure of certain leaders to carefully consider the first three questions above.

DONALD WOOD
AKITA

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.