Lester Tenney

For Lester Tenney's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Apr 22, 2012

Keep the wrecking ball at bay

I like Tokyo Tower. I will get used to the Tokyo Sky Tree (public opening due May 22), but for now I feel more for the familiar graceful lines and the more humane proportions of the older tower. It is an architectural icon, and ...

Dec 8, 2011

Defense official deserves respect

Regarding the Dec. 2 editorial “Abominable remark over Futenma“: Perhaps the comment of the now former Okinawa Defense Bureau chief, Satoshi Tanaka, should be taken with a translation of “screwed over” rather than “raped”. In which case his comment would suggest that the Japanese ...

Oct 19, 2011

Preparing for future disasters

Following discussions in the wake of the March 11 quake and tsunami, an experts’ panel of the Central Disaster Management Council submitted its final report to post-disaster reconstruction minister Tatsuo Hirano in late September. The report called on the central and local governments to ...

Oct 18, 2011

Economic trouble in China

The decision of China’s sovereign wealth fund to buy shares of four of the country’s biggest banks is a warning signal. The move to prop up the plummeting value of those institutions is intended to boost confidence; instead, it has highlighted the many unknowns ...

Oct 2, 2011

Effects of disenfranchisement

In his Sept. 22 letter, “A prevalent form of propaganda,” Greg Leviton addresses a number of points that are often brought up concerning issues in the Middle East. Although I appreciate his ardor in support of Israel, many of these topics are more nuanced ...

Sep 22, 2011

The case for critical thinking

The Sept. 18 editorial “Slow transparency of universities” states that Japanese universities should teach students “how to evaluate information and make difficult, reasoned decisions.” However, when it comes to nonvocational, nontechnical academic programs — what we call humanities in the West — I don’t ...

Sep 2, 2011

Protection of cyberspace

Countering attacks on computer networks has become an important security issue for governments. On July 15, the U.S. Defense Department announced a strategy to harden American computer systems against cyberattacks. The Pentagon established U.S. Cyber Command in 2010 for daily operation and defense of ...

Aug 29, 2011

Budget repair and liberal defiance

The residues of liberalism’s Wisconsin Woodstock — 1960s radicalism redux: operatic lamentations, theatrical demonstrations and electoral futilities — are words of plaintive defiance painted on sidewalks around the state capitol. “Solidarity forever” was perhaps painted by a graduate student forever at the University of ...

Aug 25, 2011

Back to the rice futures trade

In Japan, futures trading for rice started in 1730 at Dojima, Osaka, with the Tokugawa shogunate’s approval. Such trading ended in 1939 as the government’s wartime control of the economy was strengthened. On Aug. 8, futures trading for rice resumed in Tokyo and Osaka ...