D?sseldorf I have read "Defusing Sino-Japanese tension" (Editorials, Apr. 25). I am afraid that it seems premature. At first, you say that Japanese history books ignited the demonstration. I do not agree. Several Japanese textbooks were approved. Each local educational board can decide which one should be used in its district. The conditional textbook will be used by less than 1% of students.
Second, you mention "the creation of a Japanese textbook commission, with reputable Japanese, Chinese, and Korean historians, might result...." I think they can collaborate to know the facts, but making textbooks is an internal affair. Even if the knowledge of the facts is the same, the interpretation can vary in the same way as the perceptions about American independence differ in Britain and the U.S. Third, the Japanese government apologized more than 10 times, and Japan assisted with more than $30 billion and loaned about $30 billion through indirect channels. If there were no remorse, that contribution would never have happened.
Do you think Chinese texts tell the real story? For example, they state that China liberated -- not annexed -- Tibet, and the invasion of Vietnam of 1972 is not properly described or is not mentioned. The Chinese government said that only the country that squarely faced the history could lead Asia. What they are doing does not match what they say.
Tokyo In March and April of 2005, the Chinese and the Koreans violently demanded that today's Japanese atone for their "complicity" in World War II ("Why Japan and China are squaring off," International Outlook, Apr. 25). Rampaging protesters in China smashed the windows of the Japanese Embassy and brutally beat three Japanese students. In Korea, commandos slaughtered a pig in front of the Japanese Embassy and burned Japanese politicians in effigy. By contrast, we in the West reject the Chinese (and Korean) belief that a person is "responsible" for crimes committed by others belonging to his ethnic group. We would never hold today's Japanese responsible for World War II. Such is the nature of Western values.
By now the Japanese must realize the difference between Asian values and Western values. Tokyo should promote Western values by investing money and technology in Eastern European countries and select Southeast Asian countries where Western values are likely to thrive, and terminate their investments in China and Korea. Japan should also abide by Western standards of decency. Tokyo should nationalize the Yasukuni Shrine and remove the war criminals enshrined there. Such criminals are a disgrace to an honorable Western nation like Japan.
Stanford, Calif. Paul Magnusson's review, "Globalization is great -- sort of" (Books, Apr. 25), of Thomas L. Friedman's new book, The World Is Flat, refers to the loss of good American jobs to countries that offer "wages that would violate labor standards in the U.S." A singular piece of legislation that would go a long way toward alleviating this problem: Sell it here -- service it here. Let every country in the world with a big enough market do the same.
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.