The word 'terrorism' can help pass a bill

/ | Mar 25, 2017

The word 'terrorism' can help pass a bill

During the recent Diet grilling over his alleged involvement in the Moritomo Gakuen land purchase scandal, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accused his opposition party tormentors of resorting to inshō sōsa. The most accurate English translation is probably “image manipulation,” which, in the age of ...

Asking the tough questions on Fukushima

/ | Mar 18, 2017

Asking the tough questions on Fukushima

In January, regional newspaper Fukushima Minpo interviewed Yosuke Takagi, state minister of economy, trade and industry. While talking about reconstruction plans for areas near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Takagi mentioned resurrecting Dash-mura (Dash Village), a farm created from scratch by ...

The first missteps for Japan's first lady

/ | Mar 11, 2017

The first missteps for Japan's first lady

On Feb. 27, Democratic Party lawmaker Kiyomi Tsujimoto submitted questions to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party about the activities of Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in regard to her relationship with Moritomo Gakuen, a controversial corporate body that wants to ...

Will we ever see no obstacles in our way?

| Mar 4, 2017

Will we ever see no obstacles in our way?

Infrastructure in Japan is up to world standards in most areas, and in terms of public transportation it often surpasses those standards — but there’s one field it falls way behind: utility poles and overhead cables that carry electrical power and telecommunications. In London, ...

No free ride for U.S. auto manufacturers

/ | Mar 4, 2017

No free ride for U.S. auto manufacturers

Anyone who was around in the 1980s will remember the turmoil caused by the U.S.-Japan trade imbalance, especially in the automotive field. In order to maintain their growing position in the American market, Japanese car manufacturers knew they would have to move some of ...

Premium Friday is not about taking a holiday

/ | Feb 25, 2017

Premium Friday is not about taking a holiday

The anonymous writer of Asahi Shimbun's finance-related Keizai Kishodai column pointed out in the Feb. 18 edition that Japanese people only think of time off on a day-by-day basis, whereas Europeans tend to conceptualize it in week-long blocks, as "vacations."

Popularity of card loans add to financial woes

| Feb 25, 2017

Popularity of card loans add to financial woes

Supreme Court records show that there were 64,637 filings for personal bankruptcy in 2016, an increase of 781 cases over 2015, thus marking the first increase in 13 years. The number of personal bankruptcies peaked in 2003 at almost 250,000 nationwide. The reason for ...