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Support for President Bush's Trade Talks With Japan

I disagree with the opinion of Bush's "trade shootout" expressed in the editorial "Bush's Tokyo Ploy," Jan. 3. The author called it unwise diplomacy because of the need for United States-Japanese cooperation on regional and security issues.

That worn out-argument has made our industrial base vulnerable for too long. How many more industries would the author allow us to lose in the name of "US-Japanese" cooperation?

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Is the author saying that the Japanese will cooperate with the US only if we allow them to continue to have unfair trade advantages? And they do have unfair trade advantages.

Many American businesses, asleep like our government for so long, are striving to be more competitive. They can't afford to wait for the "level playing field" to enter the Japanese market. But let's not discourage the belated attempts of this administration to assist them. Michael Fisher, Costa Mesa, Calif. US should reconsider foreign aid

Regarding the Opinion page article, "Foreign Aid Serves US Interests - Keep it Flowing," Dec. 31: One doesn't have to be an isolationist to believe that the current United States foreign aid program is counterproductive.

For instance, for years the country receiving the greatest amount of our foreign aid has been Israel, which has used it to fund the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Jonathan Pollard's spying on the US, and the continuing occupation, oppression, and dispossession of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.

Why does the author want us to pay for activities that are contrary to international law and the stated policy of the US government? Elizabeth Barlow, Ann Arbor, Mich. Regulation is needed

Regarding the article "Regulation Questions Divide the White House," Dec. 31: The notion of being "against" governmental regulation sounds hollow and foolish after years of the disastrous effects of careless and relaxed regulation on issues like S&L's, airlines, and housing.

It is obvious that a primary responsibility of government should be fair and impartial refereeing and umpiring. Tom Doherty, Cedar, Mich. 'My Girl' has value

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In the article "Current Slate of Kid's Films Has Few Successes, One Dud," Dec. 30, the author criticizes the movie "My Girl."

I agree with the author's assertion that the movie was improperly marketed as a love story when it actually deals with the issue of mortality. That mistake, however, should not detract from the message of the movie for children as well as adults.

The redeeming value of "My Girl" rests in its realistic portrayal of death and the grief process - emphasizing the confusion and impact it can have on children. At the same time, the movie points out how grief can bring families closer.

The shock value of the movie is intense, but maybe that is what is needed to prompt parents and children to reappraise their perceptions and understanding of death, a topic which they encounter every day in the media.

I cannot understand how the author can praise the movie "Home Alone," whose theme, although entertaining, is violent, and then criticize "My Girl," which at the very least attempts to address a serious subject. Jennifer Green, Arlington, Texas

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