May 20, 2013

For a more 'friendly' Japan

A Shiga University professor has some reservations about a government industrial council's proposals to make Japan "the world's most business-friendly environment."

Apr 16, 2013

No resting on techie laurels

Only a few years ago, it was forecast that Japan's best growth strategy would be to develop environment-related products. That forecast was off the mark.

Mar 18, 2013

Greatest hopes work for less

For the sake of Japan's future, the education ministry and others must work to raise the pay of researchers and professors at national universities.

Jan 21, 2013

A nagging Japanese riddle: Who's 'left' and who's 'right'?

In the Dec. 16 Lower House election, the Liberal Democratic Party won a resounding victory while the Democratic Party of Japan suffered a crushing defeat, bringing about a change of government after three years and three months of DPJ rule. Expectations were that the ...

Dec 17, 2012

'Green' losers and winners

I have long advocated the path of “green growth” for Japan. During the past two decades, the Japanese economy has suffered from an extremely low annual growth rate averaging 0.9 percent in real terms and minus 0.2 percent nominally. This near-zero growth trend has ...

Sep 17, 2012

Greatest lib-con showdown in America since the 1960s

The presidential election in the United States is less than two months away. The Republican Party has nominated Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, to run against the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama. Initially, Romney tried to appeal to voters as a “center rightist.” He ...

Aug 20, 2012

Measuring a society's value

Guan Zhong, an ancient Chinese savant, once stated that people learn to behave with good manners only when they have sufficient clothing and food. This expression is more commonly translated as “Well fed, well bred.” His words mean that people won’t have time to ...

Jul 10, 2012

Completing one's education

Until only a few years ago, Japan prided itself on leading the world in the field of manufacturing. Industry as a whole is usually classified into four sectors: agriculture-forestry-fishery, mining, manufacturing, and services. (The mining industry is virtually nonexistent in resource-poor Japan, and coal ...

Jun 18, 2012

State of economic disparity in the age of dashed ideals

During the 1980s and 1990s, a number of countries were ruled by political parties upholding the credo of “market fundamentalism” as their governments vigorously pushed neoliberalism. From the standpoint of this philosophy, economic disparities between different countries and regions and income differences among individuals ...

May 21, 2012

Who will support aging Japan?

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore more than a decade ago adopted the growth strategy of making the medical industry the core of the nation’s industrial development. Lee, the eldest son of the city state’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, ...