READERS IN COUNCIL - Freedom of speech under attack [Yukihisa Fujita & The Washington Post incident]

Title: Freedom of Speech Under Attack
Source: The Japan Times
Author: By Keisuke Akita
Published: Sunday, Mar. 21, 2010


The Washington Post editorial "Poisonous thinking in Japan" (which The Japan Times printed on this page March 10) is an example of an attack on freedom of speech. The editorial denounces a Japanese Upper House lawmaker (Yukihisa Fujita) for raising doubts about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The root cause of these doubts was the Bush administration's reaction to the attacks, the ready-made decision to invade Afghanistan, the hasty cleanup that resulted in lost evidence, etc.

True, [Fujita] occupies important positions in Japanese politics, but his view of the 9/11 attacks is a personal one and is not widely shared in Japan. So why the fuss? If the United States wants to silence the conspiracy theorists, it should allow access to every piece of evidence and record related to the 9/11 attacks, instead of responding emotionally.

When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq, at least one American columnist denounced France for opposing the decision, adding that France was showing its ingratitude for U.S. aid delivered through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Must we obey and remain indebted to a benefactor forever — even when the benefactor loses reason?

To maintain the free world, we must protect freedom of speech at any cost and, at the same time, try to remain cool and reasonable in debate. Only through such efforts will mature relationships be built gradually.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.