Jun 3, 2011

The Fukushima disaster and Japan Disincorporated

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster is being used to convince the world that nuclear energy generation is inherently dangerous, especially in earthquake-prone Japan. But the two other nuclear plants facing the Japan quake area — Fukushima No. 2 and Onagawa — came ...

Apr 20, 2011

Between Japan and China

The visit to Japan by Australia’s Labor Party prime minister, Julia Gillard, reminds us that Australian foreign policy has never been known for its consistency. She will, of course, go out of her way to talk about Japan-Australia friendship. But for many years Canberra ...

Mar 24, 2011

Nuclear meltdowns and Japanese culture

Japanese engineers have a much deserved reputation for efficiency. How else could they have created a car industry that could defeat the U.S industry on its home ground? But the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant suggests a partial rethink is ...

Mar 1, 2011

Wrong choice in Kosovo

A recent Council of Europe report says that during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, militia leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) tortured and killed hundreds of Serbs and political rivals in secret Albanian hideouts, removed their organs for sale and dumped their ...

Feb 1, 2011

A contrarian view of how 'austerity' bleeds Japan

With the Standard and Poor’s downgrading of Japan’s long-term credit rating from AA to AA minus, the focus even more is on how the economy can get out of its current deflationary quagmire. For most of the 1970s and ’80s, Japan had no quagmire. ...

Dec 1, 2010

The N. Korea conundrum

North Korea bombards the South Korean held island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea, killing and wounding a number of people there. The hawks call for the strongest possible response. The pundits warn of another Korean War. Coming just eight months after the mysterious ...

Nov 10, 2010

Revenge, Australian style

Australia at times does some contradictory things in its foreign affairs. It says it seeks a global role, yet it recently dismissed a prime minister, Kevin Rudd, partly because he had been too prominent in seeking a global role. It says it is proud ...

Oct 28, 2010

Should the U.S. be worried as Latin America prospers?

Behind the excitement in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners buried 623 meters underground for 69 days lies a mystery. We saw close up the skills of the Chilean engineers in locating and rescuing the trapped miners. We saw the cooperation of the ...

Sep 29, 2010

Japan vs. China: What makes societies succeed?

A namesake — a U.S. economics professor also called Gregory Clark — has caused waves with a theory that says the 18th century U.K. Industrial Revolution was due to heredity creating superior genes. In those days, he says, disease and poverty kept lower-class families ...