| 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No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Democratic Party of Japan government is pushing a series of measures to restructure the outdated way in which the electric ...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 ...

| Jan 9, 2012

China's Un-relenting watch

The entire world was shocked by the news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who was as vicious a dictator as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin or Mao Zedong. What are the political capabilities of Kim Jong Un, who has succeeded ...

| Dec 26, 2011

Postal execs crack the whip

Japan faces disarray in its mail delivery service as post offices, especially those in major cities and the Tokyo metropolitan area, struggle with mounting workloads following the dismissal of a large number of nonregular employees by Japan Post Service Co. (JPS) since September. And ...

| Dec 13, 2011

Real cause of nuclear crisis

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Station, has been insisting that the culprit that caused the nuclear crisis was the huge tsunami that hit the plant after the March 11 earthquake. But evidence is mounting ...

| Nov 28, 2011

Existential fear stalks M.D.s

The Japan Medical Association (JMA), once the most powerful lobby group with mighty political clout, still clings to its position of staunchly opposing any scheme to increase the number of doctors, in order to protect its own vested interests. As the nation faces an ...