Does Tohoku's disaster tourism exploit or educate?

| Feb 27, 2016

Does Tohoku's disaster tourism exploit or educate?

Disaster tourism can be an unsettling descent into voyeurism as visitors ghoulishly gawk at, and photograph, those caught up in catastrophe as if they’re at a petting zoo. The concept has prompted widespread condemnation of insensitive tourists and travel companies exploiting disasters as marketing ...

Onagawa is on the rebound from devastation

| Feb 13, 2016

Onagawa is on the rebound from devastation

On March 11, 2011, the magnitude-9 Great East Japan Earthquake propelled a powerful tsunami through the port of Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, claiming 827 lives — nearly 10 percent of the town’s population — and destroying 70 percent of all of its buildings. It was ...

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 ...