Feb 13, 2015

Negative savings rates loom

The first-ever annual drop in Japan's household savings rate into negative territory might have been the result of people's rush to buy goods before the consumption tax hike last April. Yet, the long-term downtrend in the savings rate is forecast to continue.

Feb 12, 2015

Putting reporters on a leash

In an unprecedented move, the Foreign Ministry last week ordered a freelance photographer who planned to go to Syria to return his passport for his own good.

Feb 12, 2015

When push comes to shove

The forcefulness with which the Abe administration is pushing ahead with work on a replacement facility for a U.S. Marine Corps air station in Okinawa could harden the attitude of Okinawans long-opposed to its construction.

Feb 10, 2015

Wrong way to import workers

If Japan needs foreign workers to fill its manpower needs, the government should consider a new system of accepting such labor on a longer-term basis rather than under the guise of an technical internship program.

Feb 10, 2015

Moral education raises risks

It would be unfortunate if the moral education that the government plans to introduce in grades 1-9 is aimed at instilling in children a blind love of their nation.

Feb 9, 2015

The Saudi-U.S. partnership

Despite its longevity and convergence of mutual interests, there are tensions in the Saudi-U.S. relationship that have grown in recent years and will only get larger. Business as usual cannot continue.

Feb 7, 2015

20 million tourists no pipe dream

The goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors to Japan annually by the time Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympic Games is no longer considered the stuff of dreams if the tourism industry doesn't forget the basics.

Feb 6, 2015

Protecting the elderly from fraud

The number of cases of the "it's me" scheme to swindle senior citizens out of their savings is soaring of late as swindlers devise new ways to avoid the police crackdowns.

Feb 6, 2015

Abe could learn from Weizsaecker

As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares a statement for this summer's 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, he might take a cue from the words of the recently departed former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, who faced up to Nazi German's ...

Feb 5, 2015

Better life for dementia sufferers

The government, which recently adopted a new strategy for measures against dementia, needs to follow through on the idea of ensuring a better quality of life for patients by heeding the wishes of sufferers and their families.