| May 23, 2011

Long hot summer on track

Fears of unbearable heat this summer for train commuters in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area are mounting for two reasons: (1) Electric power shortages triggered by the accidents at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station may force East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the ...

| May 16, 2011

The new enervated Tepco

With the onset of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis following the March 11 Tohoku-Pacific earthquake, radioactive substances continue to seep into the sea, air and soil. Residents within a designated proximity of the plant will likely have to live away from ...

| Apr 25, 2011

Mideast unnerving North Korea

North Korea’s ruler and his heir apparent are scared stiff at the prospect of prodemocracy movements spreading from the Middle East and northern Africa to their home turf. Even though the North Korean populace are said not to have access to Twitter and other ...

| Apr 11, 2011

From Russia with leverage

Spiraling oil prices and the serious accidents at a major Japanese nuclear power station caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami are helping strengthen the position of Russia in the international community. The prediction by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that ...

| Mar 11, 2011

Get ready to switch chairs

Prime Minister Naoto Kan will likely have to decide whether to call a general election or to resign as early as next month as his popularity continues to plummet. Sixteen Lower House members of his Democratic Party of Japan have openly revolted against him; ...

| Feb 28, 2011

Judicial allergy to appeals

More than 1,800 criminal cases reached Japan’s Supreme Court on appeal in fiscal 2009. But 98.01 percent of them were thrown out without a hearing. The situation is not much different with civil cases. This trend has chipped away at the very foundation of ...

| Feb 15, 2011

Waiting for Kan to crash

A question that has grown increasingly popular among politicians in Tokyo’s Nagata-cho is: How long is Naoto Kan going to survive as prime minister? When former Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Taro Aso had dinner together Jan. 17, Abe reportedly said, “I think the ...

| Jan 18, 2011

Up the prosecutor's road

Public Prosecutor General Hiroshi Obayashi was forced to resign after being in office for only six months in the wake of a series of scandals involving the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad, including the tampering of evidence by one of its ...

| Dec 27, 2010

Computing set to bolster China's industrial prowess

China, having successfully developed the world’s fastest supercomputer, now poses a more serious threat than ever to the United States militarily, and to Japan commercially. China’s Tianhe-1A computer has been recognized as having greater computing capabilities than any other supercomputer in existence, anywhere, although ...