Feb 4, 2013

'Abenomics' missing the mark

The economic policies enunciated by the Abe government may have some beneficial effects, but seem inadequate in themselves to revive the Japanese economy in the long run.

Jan 16, 2013

Rewriting history is unwise

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has appointed a Cabinet that, according to press reports, contains a number of ministers who want to rewrite the history of the 20th century. They, including the new minister of education, are reported as demanding the rescinding of the statement ...

Jan 5, 2013

Gender equality key to Japan's future prosperity

The queen’s grandson Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. His wife, Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant. Under the present rules, if her first child were to be a daughter ...

Dec 14, 2012

Press and Internet freedom

The exposure of the scandalous behavior of the popular press in Britain in hacking into the telephones of people in the news caused such anger that the British prime minister set up a judicial inquiry into standards of behavior in the media. Lord Justice ...

Dec 5, 2012

Cast your ballots carefully

Disillusionment with politicians and established political parties has been growing in democratic countries for some time. Politicians are increasingly seen as venal. Some are incompetent and ignorant. Many are often arrogant and conceited. But we cannot do without them. Anyone with experience of autocratic ...

Nov 28, 2012

Failures in market economies

The eurozone has not yet collapsed and all countries not in the zone must hope that it will survive. If it did fall apart and new currencies were established, there would be serious threats not only to international trade but also to economic growth ...

Oct 21, 2012

Using the noodle to gain insight into Japanese culinary culture

SLURP! A Social and Culinary History of Ramen — Japan’s Favorite Noodle Soup, by Barak Kushner. Global Oriental, 2012, 289 pp., $90 (hardcover) Under the heading “Ramen is Japan” Barak Kushner asserts: “Ramen (regular and instant) permeates all features of contemporary Japanese life.” He ...

Sep 13, 2012

Airports: too few or too many?

A hot political question in London in recent weeks has been the need for more airport capacity to meet the needs of business in the 21st century. A neutral observer might think that this is essentially a matter that should be settled on the ...

Sep 5, 2012

Paralympics a smash success

The general feeling after the London Olympics was that the excitement was over. The Paralympics would, it was feared, be a damp squib after the games. In fact the Paralympics have attracted large and enthusiastic audiences. The media have given the competitions almost as ...