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Reasons to admire Japan

Chico Harlan’s Oct. 28 front-page article, “A declining Japan loses its once-hopeful champions,” was misleading in two respects.

First, as I told Harlan when he interviewed me, I believe Japan still does many things well. It has a low crime rate; the quality of compulsory education at the basic level still remains among the world’s highest; industrial quality control is among the world’s best; Japan is respected abroad as a peaceful country; society is orderly; and life in Japan is comfortable.

Second, the article may have left readers with the impression that I began working on China five years ago because I was disappointed with Japan. I began working on China in 1961 and have continued studying both Japanese and Chinese societies ever since.

Ezra F. Vogel, Cambridge, Mass.

The writer is a Henry Ford II professor of the social sciences emeritus at Harvard University.

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