Nov 24, 2010

Japan's declining prestige

LONDON — Japan’s prestige abroad has continued to decline despite the change from the clapped out Liberal Democratic Party with its series of old hack prime ministers to a government led by the Democratic Party of Japan. Foreign observers thought that surely a DPJ ...

Nov 21, 2010

To fold on rights is not an option

LONDON — In his recently published self-justifying and self-congratulatory memoir “Decision Points,” former U.S. president George W. Bush declared that the waterboarding of al-Qaida suspects, which he had authorized, was justified because the information obtained from the suspects had been instrumental in preventing attacks ...

Oct 30, 2010

A diet for Britain's defense

One of the first acts of the British coalition government was the establishment of a National Security Council. Its primary task was to prepare a new strategic defense and security review. This was published on the day before the government announced its austerity program. ...

Oct 27, 2010

A British lesson for Japan?

The program of cuts to be made in the British budget over the years to the next election due in 2015 was outlined by Finance Minister George Osborne to Parliament on Oct. 20. The program envisages the elimination of the structural deficit by 2015 ...

Sep 24, 2010

Pope in a secularized state

LONDON — On Sept. 19, Pope Benedict XVI completed a four-day state visit to Britain. This was the first state visit by a pope to a country that had abjured allegiance to the papacy nearly 500 years ago and had played an important role ...

Sep 15, 2010

Corruption is not very sporting

Top players in world sports earn salaries that are staggeringly large. But, if various allegations that have recently been published are true, the earnings of top sportsmen, combined in many cases with huge payments from companies using the stars’ images to advertise their products, ...

Sep 4, 2010

Coalition on the right track

The British coalition government, formed after the last election between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, has not only survived its first quarter in power but has launched some significant reforms that could change the way Britain is governed. One immediate and welcome change ...

Aug 24, 2010

Save overseas assistance

LONDON — The British government, faced with the need to make drastic cuts in government expenditure, has nevertheless decided to ring-fence the overseas aid budget and has pledged to continue to work toward the U.N. target of providing aid equivalent to 0.7 percent of ...

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 ...