| Mar 14, 2015

Of birds and bugs: journalism in Tokyo and Osaka

One of the first things Tokyoites who relocate to Osaka notice is that, while their favorite mainstream media news source is available in both cities, the tone and often substance of the reporting is different. It’s a cliche among Japan watchers that “Japanese newspapers ...

Mar 5, 2015

Japan, U.S. resume TPP talks but pact's future very much in doubt

Japanese and U.S. officials resumed talks Thursday in Tokyo on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, but the outcome of the negotiations remains unclear with political difficulties mounting for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and indications of growing opposition to the deal in the U.S. “We ...

Local Politics: Heading for extinction?

Feb 28, 2015

Local Politics: Heading for extinction?

“All politics is local.” — former U.S. House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill “Local councilors, in practice, are accountable to nobody. Half of them are self-important busybodies on an ego trip and the other half are in it for what they can get out of ...

Feb 27, 2015

Takahama assembly to vote on restarting nuclear reactors

The town assembly of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, which hosts Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant, will decide by March 20 whether to approve the restart of the plant’s No. 3 and 4 reactors, which recently cleared central government inspections. The decision by ...

High levels of yellow sand, PM2.5 heading in from China

Feb 24, 2015

High levels of yellow sand, PM2.5 heading in from China

High levels of yellow sand and particle-laden smog known as PM2.5 are now being registered in some parts of the nation, creating misery for allergy sufferers and posing a potential hazard from prolonged exposure. The first clouds of yellow sand were observed in Kyushu ...