Reader Mail

Can't we please get some new ideas?

The Japan-U.S. alliance is widely accepted, according to the opinion piece “The state of the Japan-U.S. alliance at 60” in the Jan. 21 edition.

Ah yes, Japanese are loving it. They only pay double what Germans and South Koreans do. They’ll be glad to quintuple that amount to satisfy our president. Consider the benefits of the Japan-U.S. security treaty for Japanese: Protection from big, rich, belligerent states like North Korea that bully weaker states by building bases and constantly fighting wars, unlike the United States. Of course, too, Japanese are thankful for how their companies profited from wars during the past 60 years.

Now, on to a few minor inconveniences: 580 incidents of murder, mugging, rape and arson since 1972, and people victimized on average 130 times per year in Okinawa by U.S. soldiers. Health: cancer caused by exposure to PFAS (a group of harmful chemicals resistant to breaking down in the environment) from firefighting foam used in generous amounts on bases. Osprey accidents? Yes, but they remind Okinawans of the sacrifices Americans “freely make,” how they have sought “no material compensation” for those sacrifices. (U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s words, telling how the U.S. makes the world “safe for democracy”). Cost: Japanese paid about $1.8 billion in 2019. But everyone is rich in Japan, so. …

Sure, there have been a few violations of the Constitution. But Japanese are happy to toss out the old, useless Article 9. They are looking forward to the Takanami destroyer getting in some action in the Mideast.

Seriously, given the massive global arms race of the last 50 years and the concomitant destruction of our planet, isn’t it time for intellectuals to quit churning out the same old commentary and start putting forward some rational ideas for saving humanity?

JOSEPH ESSERTIER
NAGOYA

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.