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Sunday, July 20, 2003

READERS IN COUNCIL

Bigots should identify themselves


Kamakura, Kanagawa

Two letters published on July 13 made me angrier than anything I have ever read in The Japan Times. In the first, a foreign resident of Japan trotted out Japan's role in World War II as an excuse to belittle and ignore the sincere feelings of Japanese citizens who opposed the Iraq war. Most of these Japanese were not even born when the events the writer evokes took place. I wonder why a foreigner who harbors such contempt for the Japanese would choose to live in Japan.

In the second letter, the author dismissed gay marriage as a political creation and insultingly compared gays with "men in prison." Both authors made ugly generalizations about whole groups of human beings. The only word for this is bigotry.

What was also striking about both of these letters was that the authors chose to withhold their names. One might wish that racists and homophobes allowed a forum in a national newspaper would have the courage to own up to their opinions.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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