Nationalism in Japan
The rightward trend in Japanese politics is very disconcerting, and leaders like Toru Hashimoto and Shintaro Ishihara are posing a great danger to the peace and harmony of the region ["A Wave of Patriotism," Dec. 17]. The Senkaku-Diaoyu controversy worsened when Ishihara announced Japan would buy the islands, leading to an immense disturbance between his country and China, not only in political but also economic terms, which affects the lives of people in both nations. Some nationalistic views about Japanese history pervading today are far-fetched or distorted. An impartial reading of history is the need of the hour. Abhilekh Thakur,
Japanese patriotism has been aroused by the dispute with China over the Senkaku islets, and Japanese must fight against any invasion by China. But our patriotism does not lead to radical nationalism. Rather, we are more concerned about our country's economic development, namely in technological innovations and the improvement of our industrial systems. If anything, we should try to defeat China economically.
Imran Khan needs to differentiate between cricket and politics ["Imran's Game Plan," Dec. 17]. Running a country is not comparable to running an 11-member cricket team. His weak grasp of history and politics, his well-known arrogance and, above all, his playboy past are big hurdles in making him a popular figure among conservative Pakistanis who can ignore financial corruption but not moral corruption. Hasan Raza Gondal,
South Korean Election
I was very impressed by Emily Rauhala's article, "History's Child" [Dec. 17]. I was intrigued by the brief but comprehensive explanation of the current generation gap in South Korea and its relationship to Park Geun-hye and her campaign. I have witnessed severe differences in political beliefs and ideologies between our younger and older population during this election. But Park's victory shows that South Koreans are not ready for change. So many of us are asking for wide change in our social and economic structure, but the country as a whole still seems to be too conservative for this to take place. I welcome Park as our next President, but this election reminded me of the constant conflicts inside our society. Seung Ho-lee,
Re "The Coconut Craze," Dec. 17: The article left out a mention of coconut sugar, one of the fastest-selling coconut byproducts worldwide. Its main attribute is a low glycemic index that makes this kind of sweetener ideal for diabetics. Perla Limbaga Manapol,
Banga, The Philippines
I wonder how many health-conscious people are aware that harvesting coconuts is a major cause of spinal-cord injury in many Southeast Asian countries. Climbing coconut palms without safety equipment results in hundreds of accidents every year leaving the pickers paralyzed and their families destitute. Of course, offering fair prices to the producers and farmers is to be applauded, and the export of coconuts may benefit those countries with few income-generating resources. I just hope that importers monitor the conditions of those working to bring in the harvest.
TIME has distorted and reversed the position of victim and aggressor with the caption beneath the photo of Gaza [Briefing, Dec. 10]. The victim is not the Palestinian girl inspecting "the damage wreaked on her school in the Gaza Strip during Israel's eight-day offensive," as it reads, but Israel's civilian population enduring more than 10 years and over 10,000 rockets coming from Gaza. Gaza's leadership targets and attempts to maximize civilian casualties, while Israel tries to minimize them. Thank God Israel has been more successful and accurate than Gaza. Ira Nosenchuk,
Egypt's Point Man
"Morsi's Moment" added much-needed perspective to events in the Middle East [Dec. 10]. Islamic politics is here to stay, and Mohamed Morsi is walking the tightrope between democracy and conflict with skill. If he starts killing his opponents, that equation changes. But to those who lament the passing of Mubarak-style rule, Syria and Iran are stark reminders that things could be much worse. Charles Gurney,
Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.
To give Morsi the chance to look like a peacemaking hero at a time when he is passing a ridiculous decree putting himself above the law is shameful. You owe Egypt and the martyrs who died in defense of democracy an apology.