Reader Mail Oct 12, 2018

The view from Japanese junior high school

Attending Japanese junior high school, I heard classmates conversing about regularly getting six hours of sleep. They were seventh-graders — 13-year-olds. Between their classes, clubs and juku (cram schools) or tutoring lessons, students have no free time. Statistics concerning schoolchildren are staggering: The leading cause ...

Reader Mail Oct 12, 2018

Kavanaugh hardly a victim here

Supporters of Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court who painted him as a woebegone victim in the Senate confirmation hearings were playing Trumpian aggrievement politics of the lamest kind. Kavanaugh is a hapless victim the same way Donald Trump is a nuanced ...

Reader Mail Oct 12, 2018

A long way from full acceptance

Thank you for the Oct. 8 article regarding non-Japanese and mixed-race Japanese living in Japan ("Gaijin Day: How an event about unity proved divisive"). I question whether Japan is really becoming more welcoming to non-Japanese. I was discouraged from coming to Japan by some who ...

Reader Mail Oct 12, 2018

Hospitals: Clean as a hound's tooth?

The Oct. 7 story with the sensationalist headline "Therapy dogs can give kids superbugs" unfairly impugns therapy dogs when the underlying issue is cleanliness in general. The article makes it quite clear that therapy dogs Pippi, Poppi, Badger and Winnie were most likely contaminated with ...

Reader Mail Oct 12, 2018

High praise for Akita shottsuru

As someone whose family has been connected with the sake business for generations, I was very much impressed with "Bringing shottsuru fish sauce back from the brink of extinction" in the Sept. 30 edition. Some years ago, a friend of mine ran an izakaya bar ...

Reader Mail Oct 5, 2018

Boycott sumo to push for needed reform

I have loved sumo since I moved to Japan in 1964. I have gone to the stables for practice and to the Kokugikan for the matches. I have admired many wrestlers, but the standout gentleman of the sport — the uncommon man of guts ...

Reader Mail Oct 5, 2018

Okinawans' voices have been heard

With the election of Denny Tamaki as governor of Okinawa, the people's voices have been heard. The U.S. military bases have always been a contentious issue for all of us living in Okinawa. I am reminded of this each and every morning as another ...

Reader Mail Oct 5, 2018

Ban or tax plastic shopping bags

Imagine you're in a bakery and after three indecisive minutes, you finally choose the chocolate croissant. As you wait at the register, you can't help but notice your pastry being covered with transparent plastic, placed in a bag, and inserted into another plastic carrying ...

Reader Mail Oct 5, 2018

Always looking to improve

The story "Preventive step led to Hokkaido blackout" in the Sept. 23 edition confirms my observation about Japan for the past three decades: learn and improve fast from past experiences. We should recognize that the government through a third-party committee did the initial postmortem in ...

Reader Mail Sep 28, 2018

JR should do more to prevent suicides

According to East Japan Railway Co., nearly 6.33 million people pack onto the trains every day. However, this extensive method of public transportation is unfortunately being used as a means to take one's own life, especially on JR lines in Tokyo. Jinshin jiko (literally, human ...

Reader Mail Sep 28, 2018

Saying farewell to Shibaura

Regarding the editorial "Turning a new page" in the Sept. 9 edition, I am disappointed that The Japan Times has left Shibaura, where it was an institution much like Tora-san in Shibamata. I'm disappointed because I have been studying English with the newspaper published ...

Reader Mail Sep 28, 2018

Keep an eye on Shinjiro Koizumi

We're living in crazy times: Scandal-ridden and sketchy politicians all across the globe are being elected to the highest office of their respective lands. The recent LDP presidential election was no different; but luckily there's hope. With his handling of this year's election, young gun ...