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Japan is facing its past squarely

February 25, 2007

Re "Listen, Mr. Cheney," Opinion, Feb. 20

I must take exception to Philip J. Cunningham's gratuitous references to Japan's positions, including on Iraq, Iran and the issues of the past.

Japan has not kowtowed to U.S. pressure. On the contrary, in Japan's own judgment, it appreciates and supports U.S. efforts in Iraq because peace and stability in Iraq are indispensable for the entire world and directly linked to Japan's national interest.

The gravity of Iran's nuclear development is no less important than the North Korea nuclear issue, because it undermines the international nuclear nonproliferation framework and can further jeopardize stability throughout the Middle East.

Japan has apologized for past actions of aggression many times. Our textbooks teach of the damage and suffering inflicted on neighboring countries by Japan before and during World War II. To face the past squarely, Japan and China have started joint research of history by Japanese and Chinese scholars.

KAZUO KODAMA

Consul General of Japan

in Los Angeles

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