Abe looks to put his stamp on foreign aid

| Jun 23, 2014

Abe looks to put his stamp on foreign aid

by Mizuho Aoki

Next up for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Figuring out how to put official development assistance (ODA) to “strategic” use so the international aid program can help Japan make a more “proactive contribution” to world peace, one of Abe’s pet policy goals. Since the program ...

Middle road sought for health food labels

| Jun 2, 2014

Middle road sought for health food labels

by Mami Maruko

In an attempt to cash in on consumers’ growing interest in healthy eating, new varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables — each touting enhanced health-boosting properties — are making their way to supermarkets nationwide. When buying fresh produce, shoppers can now choose tomatoes containing ...

Getting to the heart of Abe's vision for Japan's military

| May 19, 2014

Getting to the heart of Abe's vision for Japan's military

by Reiji Yoshida

The hottest buzzwords in politics these days are “the right of collective self-defense,” now that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s advisory panel on security has released its much-awaited recommendations for reinterpreting the Constitution. The Japanese people have been engaged in heated debate as Abe works ...

Silk mill took Japan to global level

| May 5, 2014

Silk mill took Japan to global level

by Ayako Mie

The historic Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma Prefecture and its related facilities are expected to become UNESCO World Heritage sites next month. The redbrick factory from the Meiji Era will be the 18th World Heritage property in Japan if UNESCO officially accepts its endorsement ...

New SDF unit shores up thinly protected cyberborders

| Apr 7, 2014

New SDF unit shores up thinly protected cyberborders

by Mizuho Aoki

Japan has embarked on an effort to improve cybersecurity as an ever-increasing number of sophisticated computer viruses threaten to endanger national security. On March 26, the Self-Defense Forces activated a cyberspace defense unit, the “saiba boeitai,” tasked with monitoring and responding to attacks on ...

War memorials as varied as public's views

| Mar 31, 2014

War memorials as varied as public's views

by Eric Johnston

The controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a source of perennial tension between Japan and its East Asian neighbors, and the Peace Parks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are well-known in and out of Japan as the country’s representative war memorials, drawing millions of visitors each year. But ...