Commentary Topics

Aug 3, 2014

Japan has a word to add about teaching math

by Walt Gardner

Before critics conclude that Americans suffer from an incurable case of innumeracy, they might want to ask if the long-standing poor performance of U.S. students in international math test competition, compared with Japanese students, is the result of the way the subject is taught ...

| Jul 29, 2014

Abe's flawed contingency plan

If the barren state of Tokyo-Seoul ties continues, Shinzo Abe's call for the exercise of the right to collective self-defense as well as the protection of Japanese citizens on the Korean Peninsula in an emergency is doomed to become pie in the sky.

Jul 13, 2014

A migrant structure for Japan

by William Barriga

Setting numerical targets on immigration or the birthrate is a typical government planning tool, but migration is much more than a mathematical equation. Japan's government needs to give serious consideration to establishing an interministerial entity that ensures a "whole-of-government" approach.

Jul 10, 2014

Cost of passive power struggles

by Yoichi Funabashi

The chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation recalls how the failure of the navy minister to express a truthful personal opinion within a group closed the window on Japanese doves' hopes of averting war months before the Pearl Harbor attack.

Jul 8, 2014

Japan's innovation challenge

by Shinji Fukukawa

The Abe administration's capacity for deciding how to raise the birthrate, improve child-care facilities, realize an appropriae work-life balance and promote other "innovations" that enable Japan to solve its many problems is now being tested.