Letters to the Editor

Readers write about what Japan must do to become a global leader, how greed is destroying capitalism, one gift we can all afford to give this holiday season, and why Americans need an incentive to save their money.

Japan must make amends for its role in World War II

In regard to the Dec. 17 article, "Japan quietly seeks global leadership niches": To increase its chances for global leadership, particularly in Asia, Japan has World War II reconciliation to attend to. That is, Japan must fully acknowledge its WWII aggression against its Asian neighbors.

The memory of those terrible times still touches deep emotions among Korean, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Pacific island populations, which are justifiably sensitive to the way modern Japan has dealt with this legacy.

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Post-WWII Japan has never tried to make amends commensurate with the consequences of their direct invasion of about 20 percent of the world's population.

Germany's amends in Europe would be a good model for Japan to emulate.

Werner Gruhl
Columbia, Md.

Capitalism is hamstrung by greed

Regarding the Dec. 22 Opinion piece, "Does the bailout spree signal the end of democracy?": Democracy in America is broken and in need of repair. Individual and corporate greed are the chief causes of the poor state of our democracy.

Will corporate CEOs and stockholders be willing to accept less money for their respective work and investments?

Will advertisers and the media stop trying to sell us the idea that the size of one's bankroll and what he or she possesses determine a person's worth?

Will we consumers begin to do a better job of living within our means and not allow ourselves to be seduced by alluring, false advertising?

The automakers' plans to do better if they get bailed out will go nowhere unless they and we, the American people, unite to actively seek a cure for greed, the terminal disease that is taking our country down.

It is time to acknowledge greed as the problem and strive to take greed out of capitalism.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
Louisville, Ky.

The best holiday gift truly is free

Regarding the Dec. 18 Opinion piece, "A silver lining to the recession": Even in these days of economic hardship, we should not worry about if we will be able to give the gifts we feel those we care about deserve. We may or may not be able to travel to the store and lay down the cash for any brand-new cars, computers, or toys, but we can provide in plenty the gift that most everyone is needing and looking for. We can love one another.

The gift of love for one's family, friends, and especially one's enemies can be the best gift ever delivered at the holidays or any other time of year. If it's given in sincerity, it can also be a very unique gift indeed.

This gift can be provided and delivered "in bulk" as it costs us nothing to love all of those around us.

Like the joy of Christmas, it is a tradition that is wonderful to carry out into the rest of the year.

Will Lance
Atlanta

Give Americans incentive to save up

In regard to the Dec. 18 editorial, "A credit card where it's due": If we would like people to save more, we should exempt the interest on savings from federal income tax.

Today, the after-tax income from a savings account does not even keep up with the rate of inflation. There is no real incentive to save under these circumstances.

Richard Partington
Bellevue, Wash.

The Monitor welcomes your letters andopinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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