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Jeff Kingston

Jeff Kingston lives in Tokyo, teaches history at Temple University Japan and has been contributing to The Japan Times since 1988. “Contemporary Japan” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) is his most recent book.

For Jeff Kingston's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Jan 24, 2015

Can the DPJ reinvigorate Japanese democracy?

Columbia University’s Gerald Curtis recently wrote, “It is a sad commentary on Japan’s politics that after nearly 70 years of democracy a competitive party system has all but disintegrated.” The Democratic Party of Japan is a culprit in this disintegration and slim hopes for ...

| Jan 17, 2015

Sri Lanka votes against fear and kleptocracy

The stunning ouster of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Jan. 8 was good news for that island nation of 20 million, and further evidence of a universal yearning for good governance. After a decade in power, Sri Lankans chose to hold Rajapaksa accountable ...

| Jan 10, 2015

The people's Emperor speaks truth to power

Emperor Akihito began the new year with a statement that pointedly referred to two major controversies: war memory and nuclear energy. His thoughts on these demonstrate why he is so admired by the public and underscore the crucial role the 81-year-old monarch plays in ...

| Dec 27, 2014

Homage to a beautiful dog named Rhubarb

Earlier this month, our 15-year-old dog died, leaving our household grieving and heartbroken. Readers may recall that in August my two dogs saved me from a bear in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, barking and chasing it off after it had swiped my head and arm. ...

| Dec 20, 2014

The good, and not-so-good, reads from 2014

I was lucky enough to read a number of good and informative books on Japan in 2014, but also read my share of clunkers. At the top of that list is Haruki Murakami’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage.” It is woefully ...

| Dec 13, 2014

Abe's secrets law undermines Japan's democracy

On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new special secrets law took effect despite overwhelming public opposition. The new law gives bureaucrats enormous powers to withhold information produced in the course of their public duties that they deem a secret — entirely at their ...

| Dec 6, 2014

Hot-air Abe can't campaign on 'womenomics'

For a guy with a two-thirds majority in the Diet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accomplished remarkably little since 2012. In the past year, real wages declined 3 percent while the economy fell into recession. Even so, this may be the least-worst bad time ...

| Nov 29, 2014

Abe seeks mandate for floundering 'Abenomics'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for snap elections, implausibly pitched as a referendum on “Abenomics,” is a waste of time and money, and a stunning 63 percent of the public remains unconvinced there is any good reason to hold it. What is the point ...