| Jul 23, 2012

Bloom is off decentralization

A number of local political parties have cropped up of late clamoring for further “decentralization,” which would shift much administrative and budgetary authority from the central government to local governments. The most vocal among these new groups is Osaka Ishin-no Kai (Osaka Restoration Association), ...

| Jun 25, 2012

Liberating Japan's resources

Japan has long been characterized as a nation with virtually no natural resources like oil, natural gas, coal, iron and copper. More than 125 million people live on land area ranking only 61st in the world in terms of size. But it has been ...

| May 14, 2012

Nuclear watchdog autonomy

As the ruling Democratic Party of Japan under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pushed to make the yet-to-be-established Nuclear Regulatory Agency subordinate to the Environment Ministry, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito favored granting it greater authority. It was reported Friday that the two ...

| Apr 23, 2012

Land grabs raise security issues

A foreign-capital property buying spree that has extended to areas in and around facilities of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the American armed forces could pose a threat to Japan’s security. In the town of Kutchan, southwestern Hokkaido, it has been confirmed that foreign ...

| Apr 16, 2012

U.S. digs in to hold Futenma

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has asserted that a Japan-U.S. agreement struck in February will help resolve the issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which now sits in the middle of densely populated Ginowan City in the central part of Okinawa Island. ...

| Mar 26, 2012

Tapping into oceanic energy

The serious physical damage caused by the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster, following the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami, has reminded Japan all the more of its acute shortage of natural energy sources and the need for developing alternative sources. This has led ...

| Mar 12, 2012

Power reform now or never

Taking advantage of the serious difficulties besetting Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) since the catastrophe at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Democratic Party of Japan government is pushing a series of measures to restructure the outdated way in which the electric ...

| Feb 28, 2012

Tepco's political tentacles

Just as Tokyo Electric Power Co. is under fire for trying to raise consumers’ electricity bills before making sufficient efforts to streamline its management, a series of cases have surfaced in which the company appeared to be trying to strengthen its political influence by ...

| Feb 14, 2012

Put children before politics

Almost a year after the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the March 11, earthquake and tsunami, one serious question remains: to what extent have residents in the vicinity of the plant been exposed to radiation? As ...

| Jan 30, 2012

Royal challenge awaits Noda

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda appears strongly committed to revising the Imperial Household Law to let female members of the Imperial family remain in the royal family even if they marry commoners. The Imperial family is the oldest royal family in the world and Chapter ...