George Akerlof

For George Akerlof's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Apr 22, 2012

Keep the wrecking ball at bay

I like Tokyo Tower. I will get used to the Tokyo Sky Tree (public opening due May 22), but for now I feel more for the familiar graceful lines and the more humane proportions of the older tower. It is an architectural icon, and ...

Dec 11, 2011

All Japan had to do was wait

Regarding the Dec. 8 editorial, “70 years since Pearl Harbor attack“: The Pearl Harbor attack was a spectacular failure of diplomacy, but hardly surprising in view of the dominance of the militarists in the Japanese government over the diplomats, and the insularity of the ...

Nov 7, 2011

Wrong timing by the Euro-skeptics

For Britain’s Euro-skeptics, the current eurozone crisis has an air of inevitability and opportunity. The crisis validates their view of the single currency as a straitjacket forcing disparate economies into an unworkable union. “We told you so”, crow Britain’s anti-European politicians, goaded on by ...

Oct 19, 2011

Preparing for future disasters

Following discussions in the wake of the March 11 quake and tsunami, an experts’ panel of the Central Disaster Management Council submitted its final report to post-disaster reconstruction minister Tatsuo Hirano in late September. The report called on the central and local governments to ...

Oct 18, 2011

Economic trouble in China

The decision of China’s sovereign wealth fund to buy shares of four of the country’s biggest banks is a warning signal. The move to prop up the plummeting value of those institutions is intended to boost confidence; instead, it has highlighted the many unknowns ...

Oct 2, 2011

Effects of disenfranchisement

In his Sept. 22 letter, “A prevalent form of propaganda,” Greg Leviton addresses a number of points that are often brought up concerning issues in the Middle East. Although I appreciate his ardor in support of Israel, many of these topics are more nuanced ...

Sep 22, 2011

The case for critical thinking

The Sept. 18 editorial “Slow transparency of universities” states that Japanese universities should teach students “how to evaluate information and make difficult, reasoned decisions.” However, when it comes to nonvocational, nontechnical academic programs — what we call humanities in the West — I don’t ...

Sep 2, 2011

Protection of cyberspace

Countering attacks on computer networks has become an important security issue for governments. On July 15, the U.S. Defense Department announced a strategy to harden American computer systems against cyberattacks. The Pentagon established U.S. Cyber Command in 2010 for daily operation and defense of ...

Jul 7, 2011

Matters of concern with China

Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto met with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Monday. The meeting took place at a time when China is causing friction with neighboring countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines because of its activities in the South China Sea. ...

Jul 5, 2011

Power conservation in summer

On July 1, the government started imposing a 15 percent power consumption cut on large-lot users serviced by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. Small-lot users, including households, are also called on to reduce power consumption by 15 percent. Other power ...