Feb 28, 2015

Teachers, pupils: no talking online

At least 11 prefectures and three cities have banned middle and high school teachers from all communication with students by email, messaging apps or phone after local boards of education found that 205 teachers instigated obscene acts with students in 2013.

Feb 27, 2015

Chipping away at civilian control

The Abe administration plans to abolish a legal mechanism ensuring that high-ranking civilian officials of the Defense Ministry maintain authority over uniformed officers of the Self-Defense Forces.

Feb 26, 2015

An agreeable energy mix

The government has begun discussions on Japan's long-term energy mix, with the likely focus on how much nuclear power should account for the nation's electricity supply.

Feb 25, 2015

Risky expansion of SDF missions

New Abe administration policies in the works appear to expand the scope of of SDF activities abroad to almost anything short of direct use of force.

Feb 24, 2015

Labor law needs sharper teeth

The labor ministry should devise more effective measures to be taken against "black companies" and more strictly enforce existing labor laws to halt abusive labor practices.

Feb 24, 2015

An objective probe is needed

The Abe administration's management of the Islamic State hostage crisis must be investigated in an objective manner to provide lessons that will help guide the government in future crises.

Feb 23, 2015

Yemen's disintegration

Sustained chaos in Yemen could allow violent groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida to use the country as a base for operations elsewhere.

Feb 22, 2015

Nuclear waste disposal problem

Even as the Abe administration pushes for the reactivation of idled nuclear power reactors once they're declared safe, it has yet to address the question of how Japan will dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste so as not to endanger future generations.

Feb 21, 2015

Value of new shinkansen services

The government needs to clearly explain how and whether its plan to move up the schedules for completing unfinished sections of shinkansen networks in Hokkaido, Kyushu and Hokuriku regions will bring benefits that outweigh the additional expenses to taxpayers.

Feb 20, 2015

Japanese support for the AEC

Japan should throw its support behind the regional plan to establish the ASEAN Economic Community by yearend, thus creating a single market and production base of more than 600 million people.

Feb 19, 2015

Aid that could foment conflict

Under a new Abe administration policy, Japan will be able to extend aid to the armed forces of recipient countries on condition that it be used only for nonmilitary purposes. But what will stop a nation from saving such aid for a rainy day ...

Feb 19, 2015

Loopholes in political funds law

One can't help wonder why farm minister Koya Nishikawa felt compelled to have an LDP chapter that he heads return a ¥1 million donation from a subsidiary of the sugar manufacturers' association if there was no illegal activity.