Jonathan Fenby

For Jonathan Fenby's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jul 15, 2010

A year to recall what made de Gaulle great

LONDON — By coincidence, this is a busy year for round-number anniversaries for France’s greatest leader since Napoleon. Charles de Gaulle was born 120 years ago in Lille. He died 40 years ago at his home in Colombey-les-deux-eglises, expiring of a heart attack as ...

Jul 31, 2004

Fistful of troubles for Chirac

PARIS — Ever since French President Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the European Common Market and took his country out of the integrated military structure of the NATO alliance, France has had a reputation as a country that knows how to say ...

Jul 13, 2004

EU leaders face voters' wrath

LONDON — George Orwell once called soccer a substitute for war. Looking at the recently finished European Championship held in Lisbon, one might well call it a political metaphor. What happened on the pitch during the monthlong tournament was an uncanny reflection of what ...

Mar 27, 2004

Tony Blair loses his touch

LONDON — When he led the reformed British Labour Party to two overwhelming general election victories in 1997 and 2001, Tony Blair epitomized a new political generation that would sweep away both the cobwebs of traditional socialist policy and the increasingly incoherent, sleaze-tainted performance ...

Mar 20, 2004

Bombs and the ballot box

LONDON — The defeat of the government in Spain that backed the war in Iraq is being widely seen in Europe as one of the most crucial events since the 9/11 attacks in New York set off the current war on terror. But the ...

Jan 28, 2004

Troubles cast a shadow on EU future

LONDON — Europe’s currency has never been stronger. The European Union has been portrayed as a “post modern” association of states that have moved beyond the use of force to a more rational organization of their relations. Though still hobbled by inflexibilities, its economies ...

Sep 10, 2003

Winds of pragmatism blow in Beijing

LONDON — Like many religions, communism does not admit that it — or those that represent it at the head of governments — can make mistakes. Historical inevitability means that the party must be correct. To acknowledge anything else would be to undermine the ...

Sep 1, 2003

Japan's lesson for Europe

LONDON — At some point last year, it became fashionable to compare the economic plight of Germany and, by extension, the euro zone as a whole with the situation in Japan. As recession bit into the country that used to be Europe’s motor and ...

Jul 18, 2003

Discontent runs deep in Hong Kong

LONDON — The way in which the administration in Hong Kong was forced to pull back from its proposed antisubversion legislation has rightly been hailed as a rare example of popular feeling making its impact on the unelected government of the former British colony. ...

Jun 26, 2003

U.S.-EU axis of divergence

LONDON — When the war in Iraq ended, politicians, diplomats and commentators in Europe stressed the need to repair the rift that had grown up between the United States and countries led by France and Germany, which had opposed the invasion. There was a ...