Jul 4, 2014

Watch progress on abduction issue

The government needs to watch North Korea to ensure that it follows through on a pledge to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korean agents, now that Japan has decided to lift some economic sanctions on the country.

Jul 3, 2014

Mixed picture for the economy

Although large manufacturers appear more optimistic about the course of the Japanese economy in the months ahead, the latest Tankan survey and other economic data show signs that growth could be hampered.

Jul 3, 2014

Questions about nuclear safety

Even as opinion polls indicate that most people would like to see Japan shed its dependence on nuclear power, the Abe administration appears to be trying to turn the clock back to before 2011.

Jul 2, 2014

Abe guts Article 9

With its Cabinet decision to allow Japan to exercise collective self-defense, the Abe administration has effectively gutted Article 9.

Jul 1, 2014

Say no to plea bargaining

The biggest problem with plea bargaining, which a special legislative panel has recommended introducing into Japan's criminal investigative process, is the possibility that a suspect will make false confessions for a lesser punishment or wrongly implicate a person who has nothing to do with ...

Jul 1, 2014

Weak response to sexist taunts

The way in which the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly's effectively closed the book on the sexist jeering of a female assembly member during a plenary session raises doubts as to whether the assembly takes sexual harassment seriously.

Jun 30, 2014

The new squeeze on Argentina

Hopefully Argentina and the creditors who've held out on agreeing to a decade-old deal to restructure Argentine debt will redouble efforts to reach a settlement in the next month before a real default occurs.

Jun 29, 2014

Rushing on collective self-defense

The Abe administration may adopt a Cabinet decision as early as this week to change the government's long-standing interpretation of the Constitution so that Japan can participate in "collective self-defense." Opinions from the public do not seem welcome.

Jun 28, 2014

Hong Kong's democratic 'farce'

The prospect of a clash between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland has become more real in recent weeks as Hong Kong residents participate in a poll on how to select their top leader. Although it is not legally binding, the ballot has angered ...

Jun 27, 2014

Legal tussle over parental ties

Japan's Supreme Court next month is scheduled to hear two cases that challenge the traditional legal presumption of a father-child relationship when DNA test results deny the existence of blood ties.

Jun 27, 2014

Abe's drive to reform agriculture

Given the limited impact of proposed farm-sector reform on Japan's economic growth, there is speculation that the push for reform on the prime minister's part is driven mainly by a desire to weaken the political influence of JA-Zenchu.

Jun 26, 2014

Ensure stability of pension fund

It would be a mistake to view the Abe administration's shakeup of the Government Pension Investment Fund as a short-term shot in the arm for the stock market rather than as a way to stabilize the nation's public pension system.