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 ...

Oct 12, 2009

CO2 emission cuts doable

On Sept. 7 — shortly before taking over the premiership — Yukio Hatoyama met strong resistance from business circles and from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry when he said at the Asahi Global Environment Forum (sponsored by Asahi Shimbun) that his government ...

Sep 7, 2009

Duel of market ideologies past due in Japan's polls

The world has undergone drastic change in the first decade of the 21st century. There appears to be no end to terrorist activities and international disputes in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide attacks on the United States. In retaliation for the ...

Aug 10, 2009

Hitting the recovery road with eco-friendly products

On July 16 the State Statistics Bureau of China announced that GDP for the April-June quarter grew 7.9 percent in real terms from a year before, surpassing the 6.1 percent rate of the January-March quarter. After the Lehman Brothers shock last September, China’s annual ...