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Archive for Wednesday, March 4, 1992

HARMFUL STEREOTYPES

March 4, 1992

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To the editor:

In the article "Americans doubt quality of U.S.-made products, poll finds" (Feb. 25), the writer refers to the old saw that American-made cars built on Fridays have more mechanical problems and to the charge by Japanese politicans that U.S. workers are lazy. I suspect that these theories in disfavor of American workers were first produced among Americans and then "imported" to Japan. Japanese politicians, then, quote them for their political purpose. When such comments are expressed by foreigners, they sound disagreeable or arrogant to Americans, even to those who believe these are true.

In the same way, American politicans and the media call the Japanese workaholic and say that many die from over-working. To them, the Japanese seem content with the small salary and hard work and do not know how to enjoy holidays. They suggest that that is the reason we can produce exports at lower costs. We discuss in the same way upon ourselves, but that, as one of the different tendencies of our society.

I am seriously afraid that these views, which are false, or at the best, exaggeration or over-generalization, have caused misunderstanding between the two nations.

Michio Nakano,

AA101 Bristol Ter.

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