| Feb 27, 2008

Wanted: world's best minds

With further globalization of economic strategies among the industrially advanced nations, fostering and securing “brains” in the scientific and technological fields has become of utmost importance to every country. It used to take a while before an invention, no matter how valuable, is recognized ...

| Feb 19, 2008

Fukuda and Ozawa plotting

A generally accepted view is that the opposition Democratic Party of Japan is bent on forcing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to dissolve the Lower House and call general elections just as soon as possible, while the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and ...

| Jan 21, 2008

Fukuda's house won't stand

It appears all but certain that the Japanese political landscape will undergo a drastic change this year as a result of general elections following the dissolution of the House of Representatives by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. In the previous election three years ago, the ...

| Dec 21, 2007

Fukuda's point of no return

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi rocked the Japanese political landscape in November by predicting that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda would dissolve the Lower House and call a general election “in the near future.” The remark, made at an international investment seminar in Singapore, was ...

| Dec 14, 2007

A tycoon's field of dreams

On Oct. 16 a Japanese media tycoon was awarded the Newspaper Culture Prize by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association (JNPEA) at its 60th general meeting in Nagano. Tsuneo Watanabe, chairman and editor in chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun, a vernacular daily boasting ...

| Nov 27, 2007

Politicians who took a stand

We often hear nowadays that politicians in Japan are “smaller” than they used to be. The reference, of course, is not to physique but rather to the capacity of today’s politicians to demonstrate broad-mindedness and magnanimity as their predecessors did. Two politicians of the ...

| Nov 13, 2007

Murakami's Nobel leanings

The news that 88-year-old Doris Lessing received the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature was not greeted by the Japanese media with as much fanfare as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize. This perhaps was because Japanese literary circles were ...

| Oct 29, 2007

Ozawa aims for credibility

Ichiro Ozawa’s leadership within the Democratic Party of Japan has become stronger than ever following the party’s resounding victory in the July 29 Upper House election. Even those who had thought his leadership would come to an end with that election are now increasingly ...

| Oct 16, 2007

How long can Fukuda last?

In forming his Cabinet, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda surrounded himself with “heavyweights” of his Liberal Democratic Party — powerful figures who head their respective intraparty factions. Although Fukuda is older than most of them, there is no denying that his lower level of experience ...