Commentary Topics

| Jun 10, 2014

Abe treading on lions' tails

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tendency to stumble in building allied support whenever he makes an aggressive move appears most conspicious of late with his efforts to have Japan exercise its right to collective self-defense and to reform farm policy.

Jun 6, 2014

Securing the rule of law at sea

by Shinzo Abe

To resolve conflicting territorial claims in Southeast Asia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls upon governments in the region to return to the spirit and provisions of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

May 27, 2014

Taking aim at Japan's gender problem

by Douglas Schules

Media coverage of the rise and fall of Japanese scientist Haruko Obokata illustrates the problem with the third arrow of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy — and its otherwise laudable goal of expanding the participation of women in positions of power.

May 25, 2014

Funding higher education

by Takamitsu Sawa

The percentage of Japanese high school graduates entering university is not growing as fast as one would expect. It is well below the average ratio for the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

May 20, 2014

Design tests to measure priority outcomes

by Walt Gardner

The discovery of fraud in the adminstration of the high-stakes TOEFL and TOEIC tests is disturbing, but the larger issue — which has been given short shrift — is that these tests are designed to emphasize written English rather than spoken English.