Sep 14, 2010

Higher education is worse since policy switch in 1991

For the past two decades, the education ministry has worked hard to reform Japan’s university system. In fiscal 1991, the ministry adopted the policy of giving priority to postgraduate programs, leading a number of national universities to change gakubu — traditional undergraduate-level entities such ...

Aug 16, 2010

Anti-global warming push also best for the economy

Until just recently the view prevailed that there was a tradeoff relationship between achieving respectable economic growth and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, most of which consist of carbon dioxide. This led to a wide debate on how to achieve both goals. A ...

Jul 19, 2010

Getting on the same page for 'third way' to recovery

“The third way” to economic recovery, as advocated by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, appears to have been misinterpreted by a columnist who wrote for the July 3 issue of Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a leading Japanese economic journal. In the article titled “What is the ...

Jun 9, 2010

Universities' risky business

Effective April 1 — the start of the new academic year — I became president of Shiga University, a “national university corporation” near Lake Biwa in Japan’s Kansai region. It is a relatively small institute consisting only of the Faculty of Education and the ...

May 10, 2010

Let 'elderly' get new start as firms force retirement

Japan’s population is forecast to dwindle to less than 90 million by 2055 and the percentage of elderly (people at least 65 years old) will rise to 40.5 percent, according to median forecasts by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. The ...

Apr 13, 2010

Could environmentalism really be communism in disguise?

KYOTO — Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, has published a book bitterly critical of environmentalists that has been translated into several languages. The original title of the book in Czech is “Modra, Nikoli Zelena Planeta,” which literally translates as “blue planet, not ...

Mar 8, 2010

New device apt to kindle greater interest in reading

The first thing that catches your eye when you open the yousho (imported books) section of Amazon Japan’s home page is an advertisement for the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device. The Kindle DX ad, which first appeared last summer, claims that a reader can ...

Feb 9, 2010

Japan's economy will grow on eco-consumption, immigration

Between fiscal 1991 — when the economic bubble burst — and fiscal 2008, Japan’s gross domestic product all but stopped growing, rising a mere 1 percent per year on average. Negative growth was avoided simply because of deflation, as the nominal growth rate averaged ...

Dec 7, 2009

Agriculture must be rebuilt ahead of oil's 'noble' limits

Crude oil prices started plummeting only two months after hitting a record high in July 2008, due to the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Speculators suddenly shifted their strategies from “buying” to “selling” in anticipation of weaker demand amid the ...

Nov 8, 2009

Don't bank on 'adverse impact' from Hatoyama's carbon cuts

I would like to commend Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wholeheartedly for his determination to work toward a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. It is utterly absurd to question the feasibility of attaining this goal. Rather, the entire nation ...