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For once in my life I concur with a Senate resolution...

April 19, 1985

For once in my life I concur with a Senate resolution: that is, the 92-0 vote referred to by Sen. Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) in his article (Editorial Pages, March 31), "We've Nothing More to Say to Japan but 'Open the Door.' "

We, as a nation, have been forgiving and helpful to the Japanese since World War II. We, as individual Americans, have even sought their friendship while we welcomed their products into our country, as we often desired to acquire the unique, exotic, or sometimes superior products. Most of us have given little thought to the balance-of-trade situation, believing all would find a fair level. Our amicability helped us to be tolerant of the unfair treatment in trade.

Remember the old joke, "Japan couldn't conquer the world by force of arms, so she is buying it." Not funny, McGee.

Dole says he does not accept the Japanese excuses given over the years for the ever-present trade imbalance caused by our buying everything the Japanese sell on our shores while they refuse to allow many of our products into their markets. I believe he is absolutely correct in his attitude. Anyone who knows even a little of the Japanese culture and character will realize that they will smile and nod while you lose your shirt to them; but if you pick up the marbles, they will soon stop smiling and nodding and get down to business.

It seems that our Administration is making one more attempt to save the trade agreements and maintain stability. In addition the Senate and House are crouching preparatory to jumping all over Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to get him off dead center.

Even I, who lived in Japan for more than five years, drove a Toyota, watch my favorite TV programs on a Sony, listen to KFAC on my Sansui, etc., have my hackles up. I cannot do much about the situation as a citizen. But even though I love the Japanese people, there are several minor things I can do as a last resort. And I began last week, with my resolution that I will purchase no Japanese product, nor will I travel again in Sakuraland, until the problem is corrected. I swear it on my collection of Yukio Mishima novels!



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