Work-life balance in Japan leans in one direction

| Jan 30, 2016

Work-life balance in Japan leans in one direction

The concept of work-life balance is intrinsically appealing. People are so busy with work nowadays that they can’t escape, tethered as they are to their jobs by smartphones. This situation generates stress and encroaches on private time with family and friends. Weekends? What weekends?! ...

Asia is imperiled by COP21's climate cop-out

| Jan 16, 2016

Asia is imperiled by COP21's climate cop-out

The nations of the world gathered at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) last month to come to an agreement on the urgent mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, all they produced was an attractive vision statement that is more sham than solution. It ...

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 ...