May 19, 2017

Abe should tread very carefully

On the 70th anniversary of Japan's Constitution, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe published a video statement regarding his desires for constitutional revision ("Abe declares 2020 as goal for new Constitution" May 4). I hope Abe remembers that, even though the Allies drafted it, the Constitution ...

May 19, 2017

Treat migrants more humanely

Foreign detainees and migrants of Japan should be treated with equal respect inside and outside detentions ("Foreign detainees on hunger strike" May 13). It is clear among these migrants that overstaying in Japan is unlawful, but the amount of torture that they suffer is simply ...

May 19, 2017

Custody rights remain huge problem

Thank God for Christopher Savoie. I always remember the American father who forced Tokyo to act on the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. "Years after Hague signing, parent who abducts still wins" in the May 1 edition and "Parental abduction victims hold rally to ...

May 12, 2017

Abe is on the warpath to scrap Article 9

Regarding the story "Public split on Article 9 change" in the May 1 edition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been deliberately fanning the "tensions" with North Korea in the hopes of frightening enough of the public that they will go along with his desire ...

May 12, 2017

Kingston errs on 'comfort women'

Jeff Kingston's Counterpoint columns in the April 16 and 23 editions regarding the "comfort women" issue contain clearly erroneous assertions and could lead to misunderstanding among readers. I would like to share several points that the author failed to mention or erroneously presented in ...

May 12, 2017

Teens thrive with engaged parents

The article "Why are Japanese teens so glum?" in the May 2 edition saddened me, because it tells us that "young people in Japan have the lowest mental well-being of 20 major countries." It won't be easy to find the exact causes for such a ...

May 12, 2017

Ted Rall's appalling attack on a widow

I found the column about Sheryl Sandberg by Ted Rall incredibly insensitive and offensive ("Sheryl Sandberg: world's most annoying person" in the May 3 edition). I can understand one would disagree with her point of views and be critical of her book, but the ...

May 2, 2017

Don't cherry pick smoking evidence

Jeff Birtwistle's letter "Making a case against ban on public smoking" in the April 16 edition is another flat-earther response to the dangers of secondhand smoke. It seems like he has googled "evidence" that secondhand smoke does not cause cancer, therefore Japan need not ...

May 2, 2017

One-day English immersion program not the way to go

I agree with David John ("Another bad idea for English education", April 16) that a one-day emersion program in English is a poor idea and a waste of scarce monetary and human resources. The money would be better spent administering an annual language aptitude test ...

Apr 21, 2017

LDP usurping spirit and power of democracy

Regarding the story "Nearly 70% of public doesn't buy Abe's Moritomo explanations" in the April 16 edition, in a little reported incident on April 13, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used his majority wild card in the Diet to shelve any possibility of a timely ...

Apr 21, 2017

Teaching to the test not the right path

In his opinion piece on the disappointing Eiken test results, Walt Gardner offers up dubious advice ("Modify instruction to improve English skills" in the April 11 edition.) He urges English teachers in Japan to teach to the test. That is, he proposes that English be ...

Apr 21, 2017

Who are the real Okinawa traitors?

The other day, in Naha's Omoromachi district, I encountered a right-winger loudspeaker truck blaring out an anti-China message with the Rising Sun and Stars and Stripes hoisted on both sides of the vehicle. The flags clearly show that Japan's right-wingers identify themselves with the ...