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Judging the Japanese

December 26, 2006

Re "Japan's war with its past," editorial, Dec. 20

Isn't The Times again measuring with two unequal yardsticks? You unabashedly favor more Japanese military engagement by encouraging a rewriting of their heavily American-influenced constitution. The reason: America needs cannon fodder under the direction of America. How else is your objection to be understood, when you find it worrisome that they also want to teach in schools "respect for tradition and love of the homeland"?

Please be so kind to explain the nationalistic difference between reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every school day, and the Japanese intent to indoctrinate their students in practically the same manner?

FRANZ O. GERICH

Long Beach

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I read this editorial with utmost interest, as I am one of many ordinary Japanese who love peace and am proud of having a constitution that declares that we abandon using force to settle international conflict. I am seriously concerned about the policy taken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which undoubtedly points to bringing our nation and people back to the prewar Japan, in which people existed only to support the emperor. Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was arrested as a war criminal and one who led Japan to the catastrophe of Pacific war. Abe does not hide his admiration of his grandfather, and he apparently inherited Kishi's DNA.

I hope The Times pays close attention to Abe's policy and voices warning if you find it dangerous to democracy in Japan.

HIROKUNI HORIKAWA

Kamakura, Japan

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