In Abe's Japan, a woman's place is on the margins

| Jan 2, 2016

In Abe's Japan, a woman's place is on the margins

On Dec. 16, Japan’s Supreme Court struck a blow for patriarchy by refusing to strike down the law requiring married couples to adopt one surname, a regulation that weighs disproportionately on women since in almost all cases they adopt their husband’s family name. For ...

Done right, moral education could be a good thing

| Dec 5, 2015

Done right, moral education could be a good thing

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is enacting another one of the conservatives’ long-standing policy desires by reintroducing moral education in secondary schools from 2018. This has sparked a liberal backlash because moral education is associated with wartime Japan’s nationalist hysteria and thought-control ...

Asia mostly backsliding on democratic values

| Nov 28, 2015

Asia mostly backsliding on democratic values

In Japan, lawyers are fortunately not arrested by the state for doing their job, as they are in China. Nor are academics faced with indictment for challenging mainstream history narratives, as in South Korea. We tend to expect the worst when it comes to ...

South Korea's new state textbook 'corrects' history

| Nov 7, 2015

South Korea's new state textbook 'corrects' history

South Korea recently announced plans for a revisionist textbook that will whitewash that country’s history and has the academic community outraged over political meddling. At least the move gives South Korean President Park Geun-hye something in common with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Park has ...