Abenomics' failure and the curse of 'Japanization'

| Jun 11, 2016

Abenomics' failure and the curse of 'Japanization'

The word “Japanization” refers to Japan’s prolonged stagnation — a malady that was on everyone’s mind at the recent G-7 summit. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the right call in postponing the planned tax hike, but the feeble opposition can be forgiven for pouncing ...

Under Abe, Japan gets left behind at G-7 summit

| Jun 4, 2016

Under Abe, Japan gets left behind at G-7 summit

For Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the best thing about the recent G-7 Ise-Shima summit was that it gave him cover to wriggle out of a planned tax increase. He could pretend postponing the tax increase is a statesman-like concession to boosting global growth, rather ...

Understanding anti-base sentiment in Okinawa

| May 28, 2016

Understanding anti-base sentiment in Okinawa

The recent murder of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman by a civilian employee of the U.S. Kadena Air Base on Okinawa has inflamed local antipathy toward the U.S. military’s presence. Sadly, this horrific crime fits into a larger pattern of sexual violence that has become ...

Japan's cybersecurity upgrade — too little, too late?

| May 21, 2016

Japan's cybersecurity upgrade — too little, too late?

The Internet facilitates rapid data-sharing and increased communication between individuals, firms and government entities. This generates significant risks but, for most of the 2000s, Japan did not take commensurate countermeasures. The complacent attitude toward information technology security has persisted in Japan too long due ...

G-7 venue preparation shouldn't deter Mie tourists

| May 14, 2016

G-7 venue preparation shouldn't deter Mie tourists

With world leaders gathering at the G-7 Ise-Shima summit on May 26 and 27, the international spotlight will briefly focus on picturesque Mie Prefecture and its considerable charms. For residents of the prefecture, however, this moment in the spotlight apparently won’t be brief enough; ...

Diabetes emerges as Japan's hidden scourge

| May 7, 2016

Diabetes emerges as Japan's hidden scourge

Reading a review of British writer Bee Wilson’s “First Bite: How We Learn to Eat” in the London Review of Books, I stumbled on an astonishing figure: 4 million people in the U.K. have diabetes. An unhealthy diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyle have taken ...

Japan's meek media kowtows to the government

| Apr 30, 2016

Japan's meek media kowtows to the government

Last week I compared the Catholic Church in Boston and Japan’s “nuclear village” of atomic-power advocates — two powerful institutions that stifled embarrassing revelations for some time. The Oscar-winning film “Spotlight” depicts the comeuppance of the church hierarchy after investigative reporters from The Boston ...

Obama has unfinished business in Hiroshima

| Apr 16, 2016

Obama has unfinished business in Hiroshima

Barack Obama will attend the G-7 Ise-Shima summit of leading industrial nations in Mie Prefecture next month, sparking speculation that the U.S. President might venture to Hiroshima to pay respects at the Peace Memorial Park. Obama is the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate because ...