Jan 14, 2014

Lessons from the Diovan scandal

Fallout from the Diovan case in Japan suggests that clinical drug studies on patients should be financed either with public research funds or through formal funding contracts between pharmaceutical companies and the research institutions involved — rather than by pharma donations.

Jan 13, 2014

Protecting consumers against fraud

The Diet has enacted a law that sets the procedure for class-action lawsuits aimed at helping consumers who have suffered financial damage from unscrupulous sales methods receive compensation from companies.

Jan 13, 2014

Keep power in boards of education

The Abe administration next year plans to submit a bill to the Diet that would give local government heads the final responsibility for local education administration, thus downgrading boards of education.

Jan 12, 2014

Teaching or brainwashing?

An education ministry council has approved the new standard for screening school textbooks after holding just two sessions. Such haste is deplorable as it suggests that the government seeks to impose particular views on children.

Jan 12, 2014

Nuclear plant restarts on the table

While Japan goes through its first winter season with all of its 50 nuclear power reactors offline, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is considering utility companies' applications to restart 16 reactors under new post-3/11 safety standards.

Jan 11, 2014

Perilous times for journalists

Given its recent enactment of the state secrets protection law, how soon will Japan start to appear on the annual lists of imprisoned journalists put out by the Committee to Protect Journalists?

Jan 11, 2014

More computers in education?

Two recent conflicting reports from government ministries expose the conundrum at the heart of the question of whether computers are helpful to education.

Jan 10, 2014

Another test for Erdogan

Today the biggest challenge to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to emanate from another Islamic leader, Fethullah Gulen, a cleric exiled to the United States who is alleged to have masterminded the investigation of a burgeoning corruption scandal.

Jan 9, 2014

Tepco's flawed turnaround plan

Tepco should further streamline its operations and explore new avenues of business growth, such as the retail sale of electricity in parts of Japan, rather than return to its old model that depended on nuclear power for profitability.

Jan 8, 2014

Shaky foundation for recovery

The Japanese economy appears to be on the recovery path for now, thanks to the policy of the Abe administration, but the effects from the consumption tax rise, beginning in April, and the extra financial burden that households can expect under the fiscal 2014 ...

Jan 8, 2014

Fee hike should boost medical care

Revenue from the average 0.1 percent increase in medical fees for the 2014 draft budget is expected to be used mainly to improve emergency medicine and pediatric and obstetrical treatment — fields where quality care has declined in some localities because of shortages of ...

Jan 7, 2014

LDP's secrecy law propaganda

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is rebutting newspaper articles that have criticized the recently enacted state secrets protection law. But its documented arguments are far from convincing.