Jul 23, 2014

Pressures to bear with cold beer

Regarding the June 27 article “Drink responsibly when you’re out with friends this summer“: In 2007 my hometown’s temperature reached 40.9 degrees Celsius. It was the hottest place in Japan. At my age, a well-chilled beer is absolutely indispensable for overcoming such sweltering weather. ...

Jul 23, 2014

Welfare of Filipino workers

Regarding a recent series of articles appearing in The Japan Times — “Filipino caregivers sign away their rights” (July 14), “Nursing firm withheld funds from Filipino workers” (July 15) and “Nursing care provider drops death liability waiver for Filipino workers” (July 16): The Embassy ...

Jul 23, 2014

Simplistic explanation for Nazis

Jim Makin’s most recent letter, “Mindset that favors fascism” (July 10), starts off with yet another scare tactic. Who exactly are these politicians lurking in the shadows who would make Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron look like “lily-livered lefties”? Gosh, should I be afraid? ...

Jul 23, 2014

Confusing race with nationality

Regarding the July 14 front-page article “Rola altering DNA of pop culture“: Japanese pop culture talents like “Rola,” “Becky” and Jun Hasegawa are Japanese citizens despite being ethnically “half.” The Nationality Law does not recognize half citizens. A person is either a citizen or ...

Jul 23, 2014

Prepping next leaders for denial

After reading innumerable articles over the years about men of power and influence denying scientific evidence of climate change, denying that women should have equal rights, supporting trickle-down economic theory despite its having been proven not to work, and generally opening their mouth and ...

Jul 23, 2014

Switch off sounds of the future

Regarding Michael Hoffman’s July 13 Big in Japan column titled “The high cost of peace and quiet“: Who are these cunning, selfish entrepreneurs who think that they can just barge into any quiet neighborhood and establish a noisy day care center? Outrageous! I’m in ...

Jul 16, 2014

Misguided take on world history

As a schoolboy in England in the late 1940s, I clearly remember seeing much of the world colored in red, the red of the British Empire. We were told that “we controlled one-quarter of the globe.” That empire, with all its faults, was primarily ...

Jul 16, 2014

The all-weather universal hero

Godzilla is one of the most famous monsters in the world. Generally it is often regarded as a symbol of something destructive, strong and, sometimes, heroic. I think of Godzilla as a metaphor that reflects aspects of the times. The original movie, “Godzilla,” was ...

Jul 16, 2014

Biggest responsibility for adults

I read with interest Hitomi Nagahashi’s July 10 letter, “English for third graders lagging.” I agree completely with Nagahashi’s statements that “English education is not just about words and grammar” and that English education “at an earlier age is key to globalizing Japan.” When ...

Jul 16, 2014

Pyongyang could feel cornered

Regarding the July 8 AP article “Bellicose North Korea promises cheer“: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to South Korea, which political analysts judged successful in deepening mutual trust, has cornered North Korea. The missiles fired into the East Sea [before the visit] ...

Jul 12, 2014

Article 9: dead at 67 from fever

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent death of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. The cause of death was attributed to a long-term struggle against a persistent military fever aggravated by nationalism and the malignant growth of Chinese territorial expansion. The ...

Jul 12, 2014

Japan can deal with birth dearth

Every day, those who follow Japanese news are bombarded with stories of its increasingly severe demographic situation: Japanese are getting older and there are too few youth to replace retirees from the workforce. Make no mistake, the negative side of this situation that we’ve ...