(translation in my Japanese here)


"To Mr Kume Hiroshi:

"I'm sorry to send this to you at such a busy time. This is Instructor David Aldwinckle at Hokkaido Information University. I always watch News Station and think Mr Kume's frank style is very refreshing.

"However, on Monday (10/14)'s News Station broadcast something happened which troubled me. In the middle of a broadcast from India about the Maharaja burger in McDonald's, some Indian apparently spoke very good Japanese.

"But after that, Mr Kume apparently said:

"'But it's better if foreigners talk broken Japanese, right?'

"What does this mean? Maybe this was no more than an offhand comment, but I am greatly troubled. The next day, it became an issue on the the Fukuzawa internet group, and some 'foreigners' felt very uncomfortable. The reason why was because foreigners both inside and outside Japan [sic] have taken great pains to become bilingual, and even if they try to fit into Japanese society, is it good for you to tell the whole country that 'after all, it's better if they remain unskilled like children'?

"And then, I called TV Asahi directly and was connected to a gentleman at News Station. After I explained the above, he seemed to make fun of me with his way of saying things.

"'Baby talk' isn't a bad word, I think. It's just you who thinks so', among other things. In other words, it seems he doesn't take seriously the opinions of his viewers.

"Even after I asked him, he wouldn't give me his name, nor would he write down mine. 'I'll tell him' was all he said. But I really don't have the confidence that he will pass the word along, so I am sending you this directly by email.

"Afterwards, I called TV Asahi again and got hold of the Shichousha Center and talked to Mr Sekimoto. He said friendily that 'That won't do' and 'I'll talk to News Station'. However, that was around noon and I haven't heard anything from them, so I don't know what's happened.

"Anyway, Mr Kume, couldn't you please take care of your manner of speaking for the people who aren't Japanese? If you take care labels towards Burakumin [Japanese Underclass], Zai-nichi Kankokujin [Japan-born Koreans], and 'cripples' (infirm), please also do the same for the 'gaijin'.

(Closing Salutations)

TV-Asahi's contact information

Minato-ku Roppongi 1-1-1 Japan 106

Tel: +81-3-3587-5111

Company Director: Ito Kunio (general email) (to the announcers) ("News Station" and Mr Kume Hiroshi)

(Back to the first letter in the Kume Series)