Reader Mail Jan 24, 2020

Reducing work hours good for the environment

Manami Chiba's letter "Shorter hours good for work and people" in the Dec. 22 edition sounds like an affirmative argument I heard late last month at an event that is perhaps the epitome of English education in this nation — the All-Japan High School ...

Reader Mail Jan 24, 2020

Charge more for plastic bags

It is heartening to see young people leading the way in a megalopolis like Tokyo ("Living in Japan during a time of climate crisis" in the Jan. 13 edition). However, awareness is still lacking in the rural hinterlands. Here in Gamagori, shop assistants at supermarkets ...

Reader Mail Jan 24, 2020

Just too much everyday plastic

Kudos to Andrew McKirdy for his article "Consumed by plastic" in the Jan. 12 edition. Like him, I'm saddened by the amount of plastic in my life, that I'm powerless to refuse. Like many people in Japan, I shop with my own "eco bag" and ...

Reader Mail Jan 24, 2020

Stop Henoko base construction

On Dec. 14. a high-profile protest by canoeing demonstrators was staged in the waters off Henoko in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, exactly one year after landfill work began for the construction of a replacement for the Futenma base. The Abe government is forging ahead with the ...

Reader Mail Jan 17, 2020

Don't discount the possibility of militaristic populism

Yoichi Funabashi called for attention to similarities and differences between the 1930s and today in his opinion piece "Were the 2010s a return to the 1930s?" in the Jan. 11 edition. A clear difference lies, he says, in that the populist movements today lack the ...

Reader Mail Jan 17, 2020

The Earth is a planet of flowers

Recently, when it became very cold one evening, every pot of flowers in our small garden was brought into the house. At around 10 p.m., when I looked at the flowers, I was surprised to discover that one, Epiphyllum oxypetalum — the so-called Queen of ...

Reader Mail Jan 17, 2020

Achieving goals in the Year of the Rat

After reading the article "New year, new opportunities" in the Dec. 29 edition, I found myself wishing I were a rat with intelligence, agility and quick thinking. First, I'm far from an intelligent person. I know intelligence is essential, because I need to properly judge ...

Reader Mail Jan 17, 2020

Back to Basu's drawing board

Regarding the opinion piece "For the 2020s, it's time to go back to the drawing board" in the Jan. 6 edition, "the start of a new decade" is indeed "an occasion for pause and reflection." The questions that writer Kaushik Basu asks about the ...

Reader Mail Jan 10, 2020

Nuclear power needs innovation, not extremism

The world has been debating what to do with nuclear power plants since the disaster in Fukushima. Even before that, there was the complete meltdown in Chernobyl, in present-day Ukraine. But the thing that I find most perplexing is that a lot of people ...

Reader Mail Jan 10, 2020

Rethink strategy on reactor restarts

The editorial in the Dec. 21 edition, "The stalled restart of idled reactors," points to the lack of progress in restarting Japan's idle nuclear reactors in 2019. Since public acceptance of nuclear power and political will, at both the national and prefectural levels, move ...

Reader Mail Jan 10, 2020

Public spending remains misguided

Regarding the story "Schools to hire 1,726 more teachers in 2020" in the Dec. 24 edition, after a 12-year freeze the government finally decides to spend ¥1.5 trillion on education in a society that's been disappearing for 50 years, with the school-age population at ...

Reader Mail Jan 10, 2020

Christian zealots are driving U.S. war fever

Why is the U.S. rushing to war with Iran? Let Trump answer in his very own words: "Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures ...