| Oct 1, 2007

Fukuda and the 'Cabinet of the Walking Dead'

Atitle in the Financial Times’ Lex Column caught my eye Wednesday. The item, “Japan’s Zombies,” turned out to be a very readable story about large Japanese electronics companies. But until I got down to actually reading the piece, I was totally convinced it was ...

| Apr 16, 2007

Politicians on quest for referendums should be doubted

Proposals establishing the procedure for a referendum on constitutional reform were rushed through parliament last week. While both politics and legal procedures preclude the actual tabling of reform proposals before 2010, the stage is being set with no-holds-barred determination by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ...

| Feb 12, 2007

Mum's the word, Mr. Yanagisawa

Keeping mum has never been a strong point of politicians. Hakuo Yanagisawa, the beleaguered health, labor and welfare minister, seems especially bad at keeping mum on the subject of mums. In his world, mums are machines. Their sole function is to breed. Having established ...

| Nov 27, 2006

The importance of being ambiguous at APEC

APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. A strange name. Neither a committee nor a council, not even a commission — just “cooperation.” It sounds more like unfinished business than a group of 21 nation states. The word forum is usually stuck behind the four ...