The Nov. 14 news story "Pressured Pregnancy in Japan," about the plight facing Japanese parents because of a lack of sufficient slots in government-subsidized day care, sent me up the wall.

Those poor Japanese. The United States has no government-subsidized day care, yet our economy requires that both parents in many families work outside the home.

The attitude of the president and Congress seems to be: Let the private sector handle it, and if workers can get their bosses to subsidize child care, good for them. But it is not the government's problem.

That's one heck of a way to run the wealthiest country in the world.

JEFF JOHNSON

Washington

While my heart goes out to those Japanese women who are trying to beat the clock in order to get subsidized child care, a similar story about such a problem in The Post's own back yard -- the Washington area -- would resonate more with readers.

On any playground or at any office water cooler across the region, you are likely to overhear the conversations of parents struggling to find suitable day care, affordable or otherwise.

With day-care waiting lists in this area stretching to two, three and even four years, this is an obvious problem facing already stressed parents.

PAMELA LESSARD

Arlington