"Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy…" ("Nearly seven decades later, Pearl Harbor attack still a vivid memory," Dec. 4)

In the 69 years since those words were spoken by President Franklin Roosevelt, Japan has become our friend and a very serious trading partner. Billions of dollars are exchanged between our two countries each year. And there is lasting peace!

Establishing and fortifying our trade agreement with South Korea was a smart move. It is the one action that should humble North Korea, the one thing they can do nothing about. The only thing they can do is start a war! How utterly sad for them.

Will the North get the message? That remains to be seen. Most of the free, civilized world hopes they do. American survival, today more than ever, is based on trade partnerships. It took 69 years from the Day of Infamy for Japan to stand on the platform of economic stability along with the peace it brings. That is a long time, and it is also the reason we must never forget the thousands of Americans who died on that sneaky, horrible day. They tried it their way and failed horrendously, but in the end, we did not hold it against them.

And now Sept.11, 2001 is only nine years old — still a long way to go for any conclusions, but then, history has eternal time to record them.

Joseph Di Sante

Burbank

Plastic bags are being improved

A sagacious forest backpacking dictum instructs hikers, "If you pack it in, pack it out!"

Well, so-called reusable bags are good only for packing groceries into your home — versus plastic, paper or paper-in-plastic ones being able to pack it (trash) out, to the appropriate collection bin.

Furthermore, a recent "Popular Science" article reported that researchers are close to developing plastic bags that can be made out of corn starch or other renewable resources so that they will biodegrade in just four months (versus taking up to an estimated 1,000 years for the current, oil-byproduct ones).

So, let's don't go rushing pell-mell into legislatively making life yet more difficult for our ordinary area residents — seniors in particular — who depend on these bags in vitally important ways.

By the way, Whole Foods and Trader Joes offer only paper bags — with handles, although the stiff handles can easily tear loose, sending your groceries all over the place.

Harvey Pearson

Los Feliz