| 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 ...

| Nov 21, 2011

Primer for decontamination

The potentially lucrative business of decontaminating areas of radioactive substances released from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station may well go to companies handpicked by a government organization that has long played a leading role in promoting the construction of ...

| Oct 24, 2011

Ill omens for Asian economies

Even though Asia is still perceived to be the global economic growth center, there are signs of potential dangers of the regional economy heading toward a collapse because of a vicious circle of inflation and wage increases brought about by huge sums of speculative ...

| Oct 10, 2011

Tepco guarding its ground

Recent moves by Tokyo Electric Power Co. vis-a-vis Tepco’s Management and Finance Investigation Committee, an independent government panel, show how the power company has tried to avoid being forced to sell large chunks of its assets. As part of its maneuvers, Tepco has insisted ...

| Sep 26, 2011

Time favors Tepco rebound

As the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station continues, there has been a mounting call in Japan to eliminate or reduce its reliance on nuclear power and to reform the regional monopoly enjoyed by the utilities, notably ...

| Sep 14, 2011

No rush to turn to renewables

Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, faith in renewable energy sources has spread fast in many corners of the world as an emissions-free means of generating electricity. But placing excessive expectations on renewable energy ...

| Aug 29, 2011

The feudal lords of power

The inherently arrogant nature of the electric power industry in Japan came to light recently when Kyushu Electric Power Co. tried to influence a public hearing on whether to allow the company to resume operation of its Genkai nuclear power stations in Saga Prefecture. ...

| Jul 25, 2011

Tepco's fight for distribution

The regional monopoly enjoyed by the electric power industry in Japan has come under unprecedented criticism since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, causing radioactive leaks and creating a highly political issue of how to compensate ...

| Jul 18, 2011

Don't fall ill in a nuke crisis

The residents of Minami Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, are still being denied full medical services even though more than four months have passed since radiation leaks started from the nearby Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station in the aftermath of the ...

| Jun 27, 2011

Power industry's chokehold

The electric power industry in Japan has such strong political clout that nobody, not even the government, seems capable of liberalizing the generation and distribution of electricity, let alone making a dent in the regional monopoly currently enjoyed by each of the 10 utilities. ...

| Jun 15, 2011

Yakuza eye cleanup profits

The government and law enforcement authorities appear to be fighting an uphill battle to prevent gangsters and other “antisocial” groups from cashing in on disposing of huge amounts of debris generated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which played havoc with large areas ...