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Regarding the story “Shōtengai” in the Jan. 14 edition, the pictures show a lively and busy shopping street to be sure, but it is a pity that this is the exception.

Because of the aging society and long-sluggish economy, even the large general supermarket chains have become a fading industry, much less the mom-and-pop stores. An old-schooler like me can be soaked with nostalgia seeing these traditional shopping streets, but the reality is not so much hard as cruel. A large number of them have become “shutter streets,” and only a limited number of them, usually in populated areas, can survive.

I think this is a definite reminder that business cannot be sustained only by nostalgia.

SHUICHI JOHN WATANABE
SAKAI, OSAKA PREFECTURE

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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