Sep 5, 2014

Biggest defense budget requests

The Defense Ministry's fiscal 2015 budgetary request of ¥5.05 trillion is the largest ever and represents a 3.5 percent rise from the current year's budget. It is the third-straight year-on-year increase.

Sep 4, 2014

Keep a close eye on new Cabinet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reshuffled executive posts of the Liberal Democratic Party and his Cabinet apparently with the aim of setting up his re-election as the Liberal Democratic Party's president in autumn 2015.

Sep 4, 2014

Novartis drug probe falls short

The Tokyo criminal probe into the manipulation of clinical data pertaining to the efficacy of a Novartis Pharma-marketed drug for blood pressure has failed to unravel the whole picture of the scandal.

Sep 3, 2014

Japan and India's China challenge

Japan and India may find themselves talking at cross purposes if Tokyo is seeking closer ties with New Delhi as a means to counterbalance China's growing influence and assertiveness in the region.

Sep 3, 2014

Storing Tepco's radioactive waste

The government needs to understand and address the complex sentiments of local landowners as it proceeds with negotiations for land acquisitions to store radioactive waste in Fukushima.

Sep 2, 2014

War criminals don't deserve praise

Reports that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed sympathy for Japan's World War II war criminals during a memorial service for them in April will only deepen the perception that Abe is a revisionist when it comes to Japan's wartime behavior.

Sep 2, 2014

Put fiscal health ahead of politics

Ballooning budget requests by ministries for fiscal 2015 total more than ¥100 trillion for the first time, raising serious doubts about the Abe administration's commitment to fiscal discipline.

Sep 1, 2014

A cease-fire in the Gaza Strip

Israel and Hamas have agreed to an indefinite cease-fire after 50 bloody days of fighting in the Gaza Strip. It is estimated that 10,000 buildings were destroyed by the Israeli assault, and entire neighborhoods razed. And for what?

Aug 31, 2014

Child poverty in Japan

The government's first-ever policy outline to address the growing problem of child poverty in Japan lacks specific targets or financial measures to correct the situation.

Aug 30, 2014

World's cities not as livable

A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that many cities have become less livable since the worldwide economic downturn in 2009. Yet, the higher-ranking cities tended to stay at the same level as in past years.