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Would Americans Be Happier If They Were Hirelings? : Pacific Parameters

November 18, 1990

JAPAN

If Japan pays the total cost (of keeping the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf), the American troops will become Japan's hirelings. Would they be happy with that?"

--Takashi Osumi, a banker, in a man-on-the-street interview with the Japan Economic Journal

"(Japan's proposed peacekeeping force) won't be taking bazookas to the gulf area. Just pistols. Even my bodyguards carry pistols."

--Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu

"They should call (Japan's proposed peacekeeping force) the U.N. Murder Forces. Peace has nothing to do with it."

--Atsuo Nakamura, actor

"The strength of Americans is that the word 'class' has never been part of their vocabulary. But looking at present American society, this superpower is vexed by complex social frictions--inequalities between rich and poor and between whites and minorities, and in taxation among them.

To regain its past glory, the United States must confront the same kinds of Third World issues it finds within itself. By doing so, Washington's proper approach to developing nations would undoubtedly be advanced."

--Asahi Shimbun editorial

"No matter how hot this issue gets in Washington, it is sure to have a cool reception in Tokyo. (Pat) Choate's blustering in ('Agents of Influence') can be parried with a simple, 'After all, it's Washington's problem, not Japan's fault.'

"If trade problems could be solved by reasonable country-to-country negotiations without spending a cent, there would be no need for Japanese companies to resort to mercenary tactics."

--Taro Kimura, journalist, in Asahi Shimbun CHINA

"The U.S. forces . . . still stationed in South Korea should pull out as quickly as possible to let the Korean people settle the problem of peaceful reunification of the fatherland free from any external interference."

--People's Daily editorial

"The (main) cause behind the (prolonged U.S. budget) debate was that the financial and budget policies--of 'robbing the poor to help the rich'--carried out by the Republican Administration . . . naturally made large segments of the population dissatisfied."

New China News Agency

"One of the reasons for (Americans') general indifference to (voting) can be attributed to the failure of a real freedom of choice. . . . At the moment, many voters have launched campaigns to prevent politicians from being elected--some states have voted for a ceiling (on their terms). Although these measures are far from eliminating age-old malpractice in the American bureaucracy, they are a vivid reflection of the strong discontent felt by the American electorate with the political status quo."

New China News Agency

"If the United States cancels (its most-favored-nation) treatment of China, it will surely harm its strategic interests around the world, in the Asian and Pacific region in particular."

New China News Agency SOUTH KOREA

"The complaint filed by the American Chamber of Commerce here against the government's campaign to discourage excessive spending on luxury goods once again shows a failure to understand the Korean situation . . . . In Korean society, where Confucian moral value is upheld, excessive spending on luxury goods . . . is regarded as a vice, regardless of one's economic situation . . . . Under this circumstance, what can justify excessive imports of luxury goods?"

--Chosun Daily editorial THAILAND

"The Palestinian plight, the denial of human rights, the oppression of an innocent, defenseless people are infinitely more revolting, more perilous for world peace than anything Saddam Hussein has perpetrated so far or could possibly perpetrate."

--Letter to the Bangkok Post SINGAPORE

"I think (gold-member credit cards) are particularly popular among the Chinese because there is a significance attached to the color gold. There is a general perception that gold-card holders are a class above the rest. Americans and Europeans are less concerned about the rat race and the emphasis to do well."

--Government official quoted in The Straits Times HONG KONG

"The Marlboro cowboy is so firmly entrenched (in Asia) as an advertising icon that Philip Morris can get its message across by simply playing the Marlboro theme song or flashing an image of the cowboy seared beside a campfire--no name, no sales pitch."

--Asian Business magazine

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