Aug 22, 2014

Improving disaster preparedness

Japan's municipal authorities must examine why their collective past experience with torrential rains failed to prevent the deaths of dozens of people in mudslides that engulfed hilly residential areas of Hiroshima early Wednesday.

Aug 21, 2014

Seabed drilling off Henoko

The Abe administration's approval of the start of seabed drilling off Henoko, Okinawa, shows that it is not much concerned with winning the support of Okinawans as it pushes for construction of a new facility to replace U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma.

Aug 21, 2014

The fair cost of recycling

Japan's environment ministry is reviewing whether appliance recycling fees — set by manufacturers and paid by consumers since 2001 — are too high.

Aug 20, 2014

Watch out for fraudsters

The police, local government officials and community volunteers should strive to educate the elderly members of their community about the danger of fraud.

Aug 19, 2014

Higher standards for assemblies

Recent instances of strange or illegal behavior on the part of municipal and prefectural assembly members, including a bawling jag by a Hyogo assemblymen whose hand was caught in the cookie jar, have given many citizens cause to suspect that the overall quality of ...

Aug 18, 2014

The high cost of cheap labor

The recent revelation that excessively long hours were imposed on workers at Sukiya should not be dismissed as an isolated case limited to the popular beef-bowl chain.

Aug 17, 2014

Intransigent India

India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, has perplexed international supporters by torpedoing a World Trade Organization deal that would have reformed customs rules and made global trade much easier.

Aug 16, 2014

Student absenteeism on the rise

Absenteeism for compulsory schools in Japan rose in fiscal 2013 for the first time in six years. Some of the students absent for 30 days or more feel permanently behind and give up going to class.

Aug 15, 2014

Worrying economic signs

The government must determine whether the slump in consumer spending during the April-June quarter is temporarily the result of the reaction to the three-percentage-point rise in the consumption tax, or reflects the Abe administration's policy failure.

Aug 15, 2014

A glut of unoccupied houses

Roughly one in every seven houses throughout Japan is unoccupied, and the number keeps growing. Blame the graying of society, the depopulation of rural areas and the "fixed-property" tax break.

Aug 14, 2014

Don't hide the harsh reality of war

As the number of survivors of the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings falls below 200,000, it is becoming increasingly difficult for younger generations to understand the horror of war experienced by Japan's victims, whose average age is 79.