Colin Jones’ March 12 commentary, “Schools plus rules equals Japan minus two,” rekindled my anger about the lack of dialogue in Japanese society.

Over the years I have been calling the lack of dialogue a Japanese disease. No serious problem can be resolved because, without dialogue, the very existence of the problem cannot be recognized in depth.

The situation is particularly bad in the field of education. There is no dialogue between administrators and teachers, between teachers and parents, and among parents, let alone between children and adults.

That is because educational issues can be fancied, discussed and used to form policies without evidence and free of economic rationality, resulting in awful practices coerced without input from the most important stakeholder: children.

Lack of dialogue allows ill-informed preconceptions or wild fancies of unreformable adults having fanatical obsessions to form education policies, while creating an oppressive atmosphere and discouraging children and parents from sharing their distress and anxiety.

Having been accustomed to bowing to atmosphere without dialogue, we are unable to challenge the authority for the happiness of our children.


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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