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Philip Brasor

For Philip Brasor's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japanese tradition denies surrogacy

/ | May 6, 2017

Japanese tradition denies surrogacy

Most major media covered the March 22 Tokyo news conference where Sachiko Kishimoto of the nonprofit organization Oocyte Donation Network (OD-Net) explained how a woman in her 40s had recently given birth to a daughter who had been conceived using the woman’s husband’s sperm ...

Voter apathy can threaten democracy

/ | Apr 29, 2017

Voter apathy can threaten democracy

On April 17 the Asahi Shimbun reviewed the results of various local elections that had taken place the day before. The main story was not who got voted in or out, but whether or not anyone cared. The mayor of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, was ...

Documentary renews debate over renewable energy

/ | Apr 22, 2017

Documentary renews debate over renewable energy

Earlier this month, Kyodo News surveyed 44 companies that started selling electricity to consumers after the energy market was liberalized in April 2016. More than 60 percent of respondents objected to the government’s plan to make them share in costs associated with compensating victims ...

Television has forgotten its golden years

/ | Apr 15, 2017

Television has forgotten its golden years

Japanese commercial television companies have a problem. The bulk of their programming has always been aimed at relatively young people, because that’s what advertisers want. But young people no longer watch TV, or, at least, not in the numbers they used to. Having grown ...

Higher education keeps overreaching

/ | Apr 8, 2017

Higher education keeps overreaching

Since the mid-2000s, the number of Japanese people who turn 18 in a given year has remained constant at about 1.2 million. That will change with the high school graduating class of 2018, which will be smaller than the class of 2017. This eventuality, ...

Temporary disaster housing has an unforeseen permanence

| Apr 2, 2017

Temporary disaster housing has an unforeseen permanence

The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake left 110,000 people in three prefectures without shelter. Most of these people moved into emergency evacuation centers while the authorities prepared temporary housing for them. About 53,000 prefabricated housing units, called kasetsu, were built in accordance with a ...

What, if anything, makes Japan unique?

/ | Apr 1, 2017

What, if anything, makes Japan unique?

In February, American comedian Atsugiri Jason remarked on a Fuji TV talk show that one of the “demerits” of being a foreign TV personality in Japan is that he can’t publicly say he thinks those aspects of Japanese culture which Japanese people believe are ...