Letters: Japanese veterans' bad dreams

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The Independent Online
From Mr John Ridpath

Sir: Of the tens of thousands of Japanese war veterans, now in their sixties and seventies, I wonder how many sleep peacefully? Many must have witnessed or participated in massacres of Chinese, torture of prisoners and the endless toll of cold brutalities against the weak. Their society is still demanding almost total denial. Their dreams will hold the truth of their experiences.

Our own ex-servicemen and women deserve all the support we can give them, especially over flashback memories and night terrors. The right kind of psychological interventions can promote coming to terms with their experiences, and then letting them go.

Yours faithfully,

John Ridpath

Crediton, Devon

16 August

The writer was an Indian Army officer in Burma, 1946-47.

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