| Dec 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor: The Day of Infamy that won't go away

Dec. 8 (Japan time) is the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the infamous attack launched by Imperial Japanese forces against the United States that continues to reverberate in the popular imagination. Certainly, the 2,402 deaths made this raid unforgettable. So too the sunken and ...

| Nov 30, 2013

Imagining post-nuclear Japan

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has sent shock waves through the political establishment by calling for the end of nuclear power generation in Japan. “There is nothing more costly than nuclear power,” Koizumi was quoted as saying during an interview with Tokyo Shimbun — ...

| Nov 16, 2013

Nationalism, Tibetans and Uighurs in today's China

Nationalism arouses solidarity and generates identity politics that threaten ethnic and religious minorities. Defining the “we” also defines the “they” — and the latter is inexorably marginalized. Identity politics carry with them a high risk of sectarian or communal violence. State abuses of authority, ...

| Nov 2, 2013

Japan and Korea slide down gender-index ranking

The Swiss-based nonprofit World Economic Forum recently released its Gender Gap Report for 2013, in which Japan ranked 105 out of 136 countries — a plunge of 25 places from its ranking when the report was inaugurated in 2006. South Korea rates even worse, ...

| Oct 26, 2013

Branding Japan: Not always onward and upward

Branding is not an exact science. Take for example the recent campaign by Fukushima Industries to launch a new consumer-friendly corporate mascot. Perhaps braving the possibility of a lawsuit from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) over infringement of intellectual- property rights, the Osaka-based appliance ...

| Oct 19, 2013

Abe ought to show a red card to hate speech now

Last week I ended this column by noting that Myanmar (also known as Burma) can ill afford bigotry and intolerance. Neither can Japan. The outpouring here of hate speech targeting ethnic Korean residents is a disturbing development even if it is not representative. And ...