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 ...

Independent NHK chained to Diet leash

| Mar 3, 2014

Independent NHK chained to Diet leash

by Reiji Yoshida

NHK, which is often compared with the BBC in the U.K., has been a focus of public attention and intense criticism in recent weeks. Many people are taking a closer look at the public broadcaster, including its history and whether it has been politically ...

Should young criminals face harsher penalties?

| Feb 24, 2014

Should young criminals face harsher penalties?

by Tomohiro Osaki

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved a bill this month to bolster punishments issued under the juvenile law. This is partly in response to growing calls by people victimized by juvenile offenders to reduce their apparent impunity. Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki defended the move ...

Games organizing committee clock is ticking

| Feb 17, 2014

Games organizing committee clock is ticking

by Masaaki Kameda

With the organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics up and running, preparations for the mega-project have commenced. The main hurdles it faces are how to amass the vast sums of money needed to stage the games and the personnel needed to run ...