Regarding the story “Medical school conducts roll call using facial recognition” in the April 13 edition, you can take a horse to water … or in this case, you can force a student to sit in classes. But either way, if the water or the class isn’t worth trying, it will come to nothing — the horse won’t drink it and the student won’t learn.

Japan has too many universities, maybe too many teachers (certainly too few who either interest or inspire) and way too many rules and regulators like those at the college using facial recognition as a substitute for education.

This raises the question, what’s the purpose of education? Is it to regulate and control and inhibit, or even crush free will and thought? Judging by Japan’s woefully low rankings in international college evaluations, it would seem you can chain students to their desks for the rest of eternity without any improvement at all.

Japan is an overregulated hierarchical society where the top dogs make rule after rule, in many cases, merely as a self-serving justification for and entrenchment of their power. Many rules are meaningless or unenforced, and few or none of them ever reform the attitudes or behavior of their designers, the only ones who really need it.

College administrations just mirror this system, only concerning themselves with the appearance of achievement but never really enabling students to achieve a thing except to be yes men and women who can’t think for themselves.

Japanese bureaucracy only seeks its own personal gain and the population expresses its fundamental distrust of authority by refusing to have enough children to send to colleges, many of which are facing imminent extinction.

International rankings of life contentment show that Japan is one of the least happy nations in the world, in odd contrast to its soaring material status — except for all its geriatric male leaders who seek to cement the status quo of sexual and social inequality permanently by having constructed a one-party governmental electoral system to keep control in its grasp forever, accounting for the low voting turnouts.

Even when voters turn out to express their opinion en masse as in Okinawa, the government finds a way to steamroll free will out of its way to achieve only what it wants. Instead of facial recognition of students we need factual recognition of leaders, most of whom would flunk any lie detector test.


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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