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.

Aug 12, 2014

Obama goes back into Iraq

The airstrikes that President Barack Obama has authorized against the Islamic State in northern Iraq are being undertaken to avert genocide. But the only enduring answer to Iraq's problems is political, not military.

Aug 11, 2014

An A-bomb survivor takes on Abe

At a ceremony mark the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, a 75-year-old woman survivor berates the Abe administration's decision to allow Japan to take part in conflict overseas under the auspices of collective self-defense.

Aug 11, 2014

Next, conversation monitoring

The National Police Agency's white paper for 2014 stresses the need for police to consider conversation monitoring — as distinguished from "ordinary" communications interception — as a new means of investigation.

Aug 9, 2014

Feeling beat up before it's time

A new survey of Japanese people in the 20-to-39 age bracket finds they are more unhappy than ever and that most unwind from a stressed-out workweek by doing nothing at all.

Aug 9, 2014

The waterworks are wearing out

The cost of maintaining and repairing Japan's water infrastructure is expected to be at least ¥1 trillion annually after 2020 as the 40-year life span on most pipes andd equipment runs out about the same time.