Regarding Yoichiro Sato’s April 14 opinion piece “Will Abe’s conservative nostalgia beat COVID-19?” Prime Minister Abe's vision for a "beautiful" Japan seems to be based on the "unity" of good and beauty through the sameness of the community (and, it seems reasonable to say, the essential difference of that community from other communities: thus, Japan is "beautiful" but China, the U.S., Russia, etc. are not). However, modern history has taught us that when collective sameness and beauty/goodness are emphasized by the state, very unbeautiful things happen.

We have learned that no country is really "beautiful," even Japan. Nations and the people who comprise them are a mixture of beauty and ugliness, good and evil. Japan created hell on Earth in Nanjing and Unit 731; America incinerated Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with bombs and chemical weapons; Russia and China allowed millions of their own people to starve to death. In the wrong hands, "beauty" becomes an instrument of the devil.

Donald M. Seekins

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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