Aug 2, 2014

More students opt for fifth year

According to a recent survey, many of the 103,000 Japanese students who opted for a fifth year of university study last spring did so to continue hunting for a job.

Aug 1, 2014

Setting a living wage

The ¥16 hike in Japan's average minimum hourly wage to ¥780, which an advisory panel has recommended to the labor minister, fails to offset the rising costs of living and hardly strengthens the safety net for the growing ranks of irregular workers.

Aug 1, 2014

Tiny progress in interrogations

The National Police Agency says its investigators electronically recorded the entire interrogation process in nearly 1 percent of the cases set for lay judge trials in fiscal 2013. For critics of past investigative abuses that led to the filing of false charges, this is ...

Jul 31, 2014

Privacy rights and 'big data'

The government is moving to expedite the use of massive amounts of personal data — collected online or otherwise from a variety of sources — for commercial purposes on condition that the data is processed to ensure anonymity of the information.

Jul 30, 2014

Aiming for more women managers

The government and businesses need to get to the bottom of why the gender gap remains so steep in Japan and remove the glass ceiling blocking the rise of women.

Jul 30, 2014

Indonesia's reformist president

Japan should strive to help Indonesia's new reformist president achieve greater prosperity and stability for his country of 250 million people.

Jul 29, 2014

Reflecting citizens' views on justice

Japan's Supreme Court decision to reduce the prison terms of a couple convicted of fatally abusing their daughter highlights the difficulty in balancing the need, on one hand, to have ordinary citizens' views reflected in criminal trials through their participation as lay judges and, ...

Jul 28, 2014

Weak state secrets oversight

An expert panel's proposal to create at least two oversight bodies staffed by Japanese bureaucrats falls far short of what's needed to prevent the arbitrary designation of government information as state secrets.

Jul 27, 2014

More time for a deal with Iran

The biggest question about the four-month extension of negotiations over Iran's nuclear program is what impact Russian President Vladimir Putin's behavior, Israeli-Palestinian hostilities and the U.S. elections will have on them.

Jul 26, 2014

Safety net is for all taxpayers

A recent Supreme Court ruling sends an unfortunate message to foreign workers that while their contributions to Japan's economy might be welcome, the government in turn is not obliged to take care of them when they are in need.

Jul 26, 2014

Genitalia artist no harm, no foul

For Japanese prosecutors to continue their investigation of the merits of making a case against a vagina artist will only bring her more publicity and do nothing to protect morals or preserve public order.

Jul 25, 2014

Plug leaks in privacy protection law

The massive theft of customer data from education service provider Benesse Corp. underscores the value of such data for marketing purposes, and the need to close legal loopholes that allow private information to proliferate so easily.