Waiting for the WikiLeak dam to break

| Jan 25, 2011

Waiting for the WikiLeak dam to break

Like a giant dose of salts to a bloated and constipated patient, “Cablegate” has scoured its way through the post-9/11 United States empire, exposing its internal workings to merciless scrutiny: In Iraq, U.S. forces and their Iraqi subordinates kill civilians and journalists while their ...

Muslims in shock over police 'terror' leak

| Nov 9, 2010

Muslims in shock over police 'terror' leak

This time last month, Mourad Bendjaballah says he was just another anonymous foreigner living and working in Japan. Today he fears his life here may be over, and receives phone calls from reporters asking him if he is an al-Qaida “terrorist.” “I’ve no idea ...

Sakurai: a very dapper demagogue

| May 18, 2010

Sakurai: a very dapper demagogue

Makoto Sakurai brings to mind that old joke about the man in a pub who says “I’m not racist, but . . . “ He is not against foreigners; he just doesn’t want many of them to come to Japan. The ones who are ...

Feb 24, 2010

Shinjuku gay enclave in decline but not on the surface

Nothing outside Tokyo’s 24-Kaikan hotel hints at what goes on behind its gray concrete walls. Tucked in a back street in Shinjuku 2-chome, the seven-story building could be an apartment block for retired civil servants. Only in the lobby, cheerily adorned with scenes from ...

Jan 28, 2010

Victim of Akihabara rampage reaches out to defendant

Until June 8, 2008, Hiroshi Yuasa led an ordinary life, one of thousands of taxi drivers who work Tokyo’s streets. But just after noon on that rainy Sunday, as shoppers thronged the streets of Akihabara, he witnessed an event that changed everything. Sitting in ...

Jan 24, 2010

Chipping away at constitutional freedoms

Just as for the United States, the cost to Japan of the Iraq adventure has not been limited to the financial. A series of test cases against antiwar activists has dismayed lawyers and human-rights activists, who say the post-9/11 Japanese state is attacking constitutional ...

'The wartime leaders of Japan were heroes'

Jan 24, 2010

'The wartime leaders of Japan were heroes'

General Toshio Tamogami, 61, was the chief of staff of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force between March 2007 and November 2008 despite having a history of lobbing verbal missiles at “leftists,” China and Japan’s so-called war-renouncing Constitution. In 2008, he pulled these and other themes ...

Secrets and lies

Jan 24, 2010

Secrets and lies

Japan marked the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty on Jan. 19 amid calls for an inquiry into the dispatch of Japanese Self-Defence Forces to Iraq, which critics say was illegal. But in contrast to the fierce debates over the origins and legitimacy ...

Dec 18, 2009

Students give job-hunting system a big F

College students habitually complain about being overloaded with study. Not Shingo Hori though, who demands to be allowed to study more. “It’s ridiculous. We don’t have time to mature as people or as students,” says the 21-year-old philosophy major at prestigious Waseda University in ...