23 OCTOBER 1971, Page 22

Japs again!

Sir: 'A sense of nausea' is the only way I can describe my feelings on reading your editorial on the visit of the Emperor Hirohito. This kind of hysterical outburst may satisfy the pride of the author (' Lord, I am not as other men ') but it is scarcely an aid to human reconciliation.

Maybe the continentals are right when they say that humbuggery is the great English vice. History has been kind to us and has produced in our own times a fairly humane and civilized society. It was not always thus, however, and in their time English soldiers and civilians have disgusted the world with their conduct. In some respects and at some levels they perhaps continue to do so.

If we imagine that our present attitudes and moves are due to some innate superiority rather than the accidents of history, we do deceive ourselves, and certainly it Is a dangerous and precarious belief that we are on that account entitled to despise anyone or any people politically, historically, socially or otherwise! F. A. Lawton 162 Fulford Road, York