Aug 2, 2010

Go past Koizumi's reforms to restore the Meiji spirit

LONDON — “Japan has lost its place in world, no longer serious economic power.” So read the subhead of a recent article by a Japanese professor and former journalist in a reputable Japanese economic journal. The professor declared that “this stark reality, which many ...

Jul 17, 2010

U.K. eyes welfare reform

The cost of providing welfare benefits in Britain has risen by 45 percent in a decade and could rise from £87 billion annually to £192 billion by 2015. These costs are a major element in the national budget. If the new government is to ...

Jul 7, 2010

The price of living longer

The British coalition government has announced that it will set from 2016 the qualifying age for old-age pensions for men at 66 instead of 65. Women have hitherto received old-age pensions at 60, but the qualifying age will be brought into line with that ...

Jun 18, 2010

Recipes for curbing deficits

LONDON — Following the Greek financial crisis, governments in Europe have been adopting austerity measures designed to reduce public sector deficits. The main reason that cuts in governments expenditure are needed is that unless clear and determined steps are taken to reduce public sector ...

Jun 15, 2010

Poor grades for U.K. schools

LONDON — The new British government has declared its intention to do all it can to improve standards of education in Britain. This was also a high priority for the previous Labour administration. As prime minister, Tony Blair used to declare that his mantra ...

May 19, 2010

Coalition off to a good start

Britain’s May 6 general election was different from previous elections both in the way the campaigns were conducted and in its final outcome. The turnout was a respectable 65 percent, some 4 percent better than at the previous election in 2005. The electoral commission ...

May 9, 2010

Will the euro live through the Greek crisis?

LONDON — The British, who have not joined the single European currency, have watched somewhat complacently the development of the economic crisis in Greece. They have been happy to leave Greece’s rescue to the other countries that use the euro and to the International ...

Apr 11, 2010

Which way will the British go?

The United Kingdom will go to the polls on May 6, almost five years since the last general election. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has clung to power as long as he legally could. Now he must face the electorate. The electorate is fickle and ...

Apr 6, 2010

Getting a leg up on health care

LONDON — The signature by U.S. President Barack Obama of his health care bill was welcomed by most people in Britain and Europe. Many thought that the provision of health care for those not covered by insurance or whose insurance could not be renewed ...

Mar 12, 2010

Rule of law vs. security

LONDON — Politicians in Britain and in Japan often talk glibly about the importance of the rule of law. But how many of them have a clear idea of what this important phrase means? A book by Tom Bingham titled “The Rule of Law” ...