Excerpts of editorials and commentary from around the Pacific Rim. JAPAN
"The first advice newly dispatched Japanese workers receive when they transfer to New York, Los Angeles or other major U.S. cities is how to avoid being robbed or mugged. For Japanese, . . . America's high rate of crime--especially for violent crime involving handguns--is a fascinating oddity.
In Japan in (1988), 155 crimes of all kinds were committed with handguns. Of that number, though, 145 were committed by yakuza , members of Japan's organized-crime families." --Asahi Shimbun feature
"The need for money is increasing among developing nations, which were severely hurt by the price increases in crude oil, and in East Europe, which is undergoing large-scale economic reforms. If the United States continues to withdraw funds from abroad to help decrease its budget and trade deficits, these nations will fall into a miserable plight." --Yomiuri Shimbun editorial
"A number of white personalities are appearing in TV commercials in which they have nothing to do with the products being advertised. A nonwhite foreign resident of Japan observed that 'the rampant use of white entertainers by Japanese television networks and women's magazines reflects . . . the inferiority complex lurking in the Japanese mind toward whites--and . . . their sense of superiority in relation to blacks.'
Granted, it is human nature to have individual emotions and sentiments. But if we Japanese allow ourselves to be swept away only by emotions, there would be no way to break from our traditional, insular narrow-mindedness. Americans have long been buffeted by problems typical of multiethnic society, so there is a difference in the ways they and the Japanese react to 'the others.' Any Japanese desire to internationalize will require . . . all the determination to fight that 'inner war' within ourselves." --Asahi Shimbun editorial
"Which country exports massively to the United States but imports almost no American goods?
Which country invests most in the United States?
Which country owns most U.S. real estate?
The correct reponses are Britain, the Netherlands and Canada, respectively.
I would like this to be known to those who think Japanese are so rich they can sprinkle gold dust on sushi." --Letter to the Japan Times Tokyo
"Football players are now included on the most-wanted list of corporate recruitment programs." --Kanazawa Yoshio, president of the National Football Assn. of Japan SINGAPORE
"Detroit was Robocop City, with police sirens screaming every half hour and two police officers stoutly stationed at every block." --Impressions of a visiting Straits Times reporter
"(Tax increases and spending cuts) will not be palatable (to Americans), not least to a generation brought up in the belief that it could have its apple pie and eat it, too." --The Straits Times THAILAND
"So, yes, Mr. Bush, there is a connection between the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They justify each other." --From an opinion piece in the Bangkok Post CHINA
"The difficulty in Sino-U.S. relations does not exist in China, but in the U.S. Congress and public opinion. Objectively, no big obstacles exist. As for the Taiwan problem, both the Chinese and the U.S. sides have reached an understanding, and I think that it should not become a problem."
--Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, in China News Agency PHILIPPINES
"While (the Philippines) may have meager ammunition in our 'war' (over retention of U.S. military bases), we have a weapon even more terrifying to the Americans than the poison gas threatened by Iraq's Saddam Hussein--garbage."
--Jejomar Binay, Manila garbage czar