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The article “The first Indian voice in Tokyo politics” in the Feb. 6 edition, about Yogendra “Yogi” Puranik, led me to ponder our relationships with people who have different backgrounds.

According to the article, Puranik is “the first person of Indian origin to be elected to office in Japan.” He is quoted as saying: “My key slogan is that I am going to be the bridge between the Japanese and the foreigners.”

As everybody knows, the number of foreign workers has been increasing and some live as Japanese, getting Japanese citizenship. Of course, despite different cultures and languages, we can become friends and neighbors.

I hear so often from them very good advice or impressions about Japanese society. I am sure that they can view Japan from a different point of view, or I would say they are able to see things in Japan in a more objective way, comparing it to their own cultures.

On the other hand, most of us have difficulty, at least sometimes, in using a critical eye to recognize problems correctly in our own society, not being familiar enough with other cultures to make accurate comparisons.

We can learn a lot from their frank opinions and I would like to thank them for sincerely supporting our society. They are special, and I feel they are qualified to help us shape a better Japan.

However, Puranik may sometimes encounter difficulties. I would like to support his efforts and pray that the seed he has planted will grow. A tree starts with just a seed.

HIROSHI NORO
HADANO, KANAGAWA 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.