Mar 1, 2014

Fukushima's appalling death toll

As the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake approaches, new studies show that more people have died of stress and other mental illnesses than from causes directly linked to the triple "3/11" disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown.

Feb 28, 2014

G-20 unveils a growth goal

The Group of 20 economies have headed off a feared blame game between advanced and emerging economies and, for the first time, agreed on a collective GDP growth goal.

Feb 27, 2014

Steps toward politicized education

The Abe administration plans to submit bills in this Diet session that would reduce the autonomy of a local board of education and make it easier for the education ministry to challenge a board of education's decision on, say, textbook selection.

Feb 27, 2014

Postponing toll-free expressways

A new government bill pushes back the deadline for eliminating expressways tolls from 2050 to 2065 — because of the need to borrow more money to repair and renovate aging bridges and tunnels.

Feb 26, 2014

Japan's new economic realities

Japan's current account surplus in 2013 is at its lowest since the mid-1980s, thanks to soaring trade deficits the past three years. Efforts to revamp the nation's growth strategy face a new trade structure.

Feb 26, 2014

Will tougher approach reduce crime?

The government has submitted revised legislation aimed at meting out stricter punishment to minors who commit crimes. But will more severe punishment, sought by survivors and family members of crime victims, lead to a reduction in juvenile crime

Feb 24, 2014

A regime of unparalleled brutality

Sadly little will come of the report on a U.N. human rights inquiry that has concluded that the brutality of the North Korean government "does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."

Feb 23, 2014

Preparing for heavy snowfalls

Recent heavy snowfalls from the Kanto-Koshin region to Hokkaido show the vulnerability of areas in Japan that up to now have experienced little damage from snowstorms.

Feb 23, 2014

An equal vote is a priority

Talks between the ruling and opposition parties on rectifying vote-value disparity, which remains so wide among Lower House constituencies as to undermine the principle of equality under the Constitution, have made little headway.

Feb 22, 2014

Higher university fees raise concern

Most of Japan's prestigious private universities say they plan to raise tuition and other fees beginning in April, making the nation's notoriously expensive education even more costly.

Feb 22, 2014

Grim global stats on sexual assault

In the first-ever global picture of sexual assault, a respected British medical journal reports that, worldwide, 7.2 percent of women at least 15 years old have suffered sexual violence from a stranger.

Feb 21, 2014

Abe guts constitutional government

People should realize that Japan's prime minister has a shallow understanding of constitutional government. Shinzo Abe thinks he is the "highest responsible person" for interpreting Japan's right to a collective self-defense, and that's dangerous.