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'Bureaucratic Hold on Japan'

February 12, 1988

I am very grateful for the article by Yoshi Tsurumi "A Bureaucratic Hold on Japan" (Op-Ed Page, Jan. 25) because it confirms what I have long believed: We do not need to create a foreign policy that pits us against most of the world. In fact, the best and most stable foreign policy is one that makes the interests of the people (not the governments) of other countries our own.

Tsurumi's article is proof of this idea. We are currently engaging in all forms of Japan bashing--all policies that will only result in hurt feelings. We fail to realize that Japan's restrictive economic policies are as harmful for the vast majority of Japanese consumers as they are for us.

A more creative policy, albeit much more difficult to carry out, would be to try to convince the Japanese that they have much to gain by lowering their trade barriers, to try to convince the Japanese consumer that American goods can make his life easier, and to try to get the Japanese government to create a more responsive political system.

Naturally, all of these policies would require much more creativity, and in order to be successful they would have to be executed with a great deal of caution and finesse, but we would benefit much more from these policies than our present policy of slapping irrational trade embargoes on certain select products (usually because some American producer or manufacturer cannot compete).

We need a presidential candidate who has this sort of vision.

WILLIAM JOSEPH MILLER

Panorama City

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