Jun 14, 2014

Punishments for mislabeling

At long last, Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency has decided to introduce a system to impose monetary penalties on companies that mislabel their food products.

Jun 14, 2014

Entrance exam scoring errors

The apology by Tokyo's Office of Education for more than 2,000 scoring errors found on high school entrance examinations underscores the need for greater exactitude in the entrance exam system and more transparency about its aims.

Jun 13, 2014

Iraq collapsing

Islamic militants have overrun northern Iraq, taking control of the country's second-largest city and sparking fears of the collapse of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Jun 12, 2014

Dangerous turn in ODA policy

The Abe administration should give up on a plan to change the government's basic policy on official development assistance in ways that could see aid used for the armed forces of foreign countries.

Jun 12, 2014

Ramping up debate in the Diet

Lawmakers need to make sure that steps taken by the ruling coalition and two major opposition parties to reform Diet proceedings do not let government leaders off the hook in facing legislative scrutiny and regular debate.

Jun 11, 2014

Egypt's new pharaoh

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the former head of Egypt’s Army, won a landslide victory in presidential elections held last month. The retired field marshal was sworn in Sunday as Egypt’s new president. His job now is to forge unity in a country deeply divided, and ...

Jun 10, 2014

A slippery slope to combat

The Abe administration's modifications of its proposed new conditions for the Self-Defense Forces to take part in overseas missions would still pave the way for the SDF to operate in combat areas, thus raising the risk of Japan being drawn into armed conflict.

Jun 9, 2014

Creeping Orwellian angst

Legislative attempts to criminalize the act of "conspiracy" to commit some crimes as well as other government moves are enough to cause anxiety that Japan may be inching toward an Orwellian society.

Jun 7, 2014

Global obesity: a growing crisis

A new global study showing that one-third of the world is now overweight shows that a global health crisis is imminent unless urgent steps are taken. For what it's worth, Japanese adults are the least obese among the industrialized countries.

Jun 6, 2014

Public pension reforms

A new labor and welfare ministry report highlights the possible need to extend the period during which workers pay premiums into national pension plans so that the benefits paid out to retirees can help sustain retirees' livelihoods at the levels promised.

Jun 5, 2014

Political reform overdue in China

Twenty-five years after the protests at Tiananmen Square, the Chinese Communist Party continues to try to erase the memory of a movement that called for elimination of corruption, government accountability, freedom of speech and expansion of workers' rights.