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PACIFIC PARAMETERS

Who's a Real American? and Why Philippines Should Oust U.S. Bases

May 26, 1991| Newspaper and magazine commentary around the Pacific Rim .

JAPAN

"Who is a real American? Among the movie stars, would it be John Wayne? Gary Cooper? I think the real American is someone who upholds and honors the American ideal of 'fair play.' I'd have to say James Stewart."

--Takeyoshi Tanuma, well-known photographer

"I am greatly indebted to the United States because they sent us milk instead of guns (after World War II). Today's prosperous Japan would not exist without American support."

--Fusaro Sekiguchi, president of Meitec Corp., on his $2-million gift for scholarships for children of U.S. military personnel killed or injured in the Gulf War.

"It's a kind of reverse culture shock for them. After selling their huge house in America and coming home to find they can't even afford a tiny Tokyo apartment, they feel miserable."

--Chief of a headhunting company on why many businessmen quit their jobs after returning from abroad.

"Japan's reluctance to take a strong stance . . . against Iraq was due not merely to our peace constitution or even our memory of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. . . . (Rather), Japan had legitimate concerns about America's ability to prosecute the war successfully. Though proved wrong, I don't think such concerns should be completely ridiculed."

--Shigeo Minabe, professor of economics

"The oldest is 70; a few applicants were 58, but we turned them down because they were too young."

-- A company president on his practice of re-employing seniors to beat the labor shortage

SINGAPORE

"While President Bush is right to emphasize that the use of force to suppress the Baltic independence movement is not just, he should be wary of withholding the hand of help to his Soviet friend in need."

--Straits Times editorial

"It is a shame that the United States, which was instrumental in reversing Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, should be content with allowing Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia to slip into de facto history."

--Letter to the Straits Times

"If U.S. opposition to the (proposed East Asian Economic Grouping) stems from a belief that friendly economic groups have the potential to turn into unfriendly economic blocs, maybe it is time for prospective (East Asian) members to suspect the same of the groups now in place in America and Europe."

--Sunday Times columnist

HONG KONG

"With its economic impact on Hong Kong, (the potential loss of China's most-favored-nation trade status should not be a concern of only the commercial sectors. . . . About 40,000 residents will be made jobless and the territory will lose $10 billion if China's MFN status is withdrawn, according to government estimates."

--South China Morning Post

THAILAND

"Countries in East Asia have noticed that Japan appears to be more and more under the thumb of the United States. For instance, upon being offered the leadership role of the proposed East Asia Economic Group, Tokyo balked because it apparently did not want to rub Washington the wrong way. . . . So long as Japan is unable to tear itself away from the apron strings of the United States, Japan's capabilities as a world power will always be a question mark."

--Reprint in the Nation

CHINA

"In clamoring to block extension of China's most-favored-nation treatment, Democratic congressmen from California have been most vigorous in proposing extortionist conditions. They have openly declared that because Sunkist oranges are not allowed into the mainland, the MFN clause would have to be used as a bargaining chip to force China to open its market. . . . Will the Chinese people allow the USA to indiscriminately alter China's farm-quarantine system?"

--New China News Agency

PHILIPPINES

"I never did like the face of Richard Armitage, nor his demeanor. Armitage made his first mistake when he said Filipinos shouldn't have the mentality of a cash register with regard to the (U.S.) bases."

--Philippine Star columnist on the U.S. special negotiator for the Philippine bases.

"The U.S. bases gave us the feeling we couldn't exist without them. The Americans are now telling us we'll blow the whole thing if we don't give them the bases on their own terms. Well, if that's the price for growing up, it could be a good thing for the bases to go."

--Philippine Star columnist

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