Nov 11, 2014

A step in the right direction

A long-awaited meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping takes place in Beijing, but it's just the first step in restoring bilateral relations that have reached their lowest ebb since the two nations normalized diplomatic ties in 1972.

Nov 11, 2014

No excuse for inaction on emissions

The latest report by the U.N. panel on climate change may not offer any new surprises concerning the threat of global warming, but it does remind us that doing too little, or waiting too long, to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases could be disastrous.

Nov 10, 2014

Wall long gone but vacuum remains

The commemoration of the collapse of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, reminds us of the power of the elemental yearning for freedom as well as the failure of our leaders, in the quarter-century since, to build a world that better responds to ...

Nov 8, 2014

Grade school squeeze is on

Japan's Finance Ministry has asked the education ministry to increase the number of grade school students per class, reversing a decision from 2011 to reduce class size.

Nov 8, 2014

Universities get yen for ranking

The central government has announced additional funding for 37 leading public and private universities as a way to increase their global ranking and competitiveness. No mention was made of the other 67 schools that applied.

Nov 7, 2014

The GOP retakes Congress

Despite the Republican Party retaking control of the U.S. Senate and increasing its holdings in the House, it's difficult to be optimistic about legislative progress in Washington over the next two years given the deep fissures within the GOP itself.

Nov 6, 2014

Space, the final frontier

Given the many, irreducible uncertainties of space flight tourism in the future — brought home last week by the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicle — the guiding principle for customers is likely to be "informed consent."

Nov 4, 2014

Seniority pay on its way out?

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a review of the seniority-based wage system prevalent among Japanese companies with a call for higher pay to recruits and a shift to paying wages according to performance.

Nov 4, 2014

Speedy money transfers

Japan's banking industry is discussing whether to extend the hours for processing customer money transfers beyond the 3 p.m. deadline on weekdays as well as to weekends and holidays.

Nov 3, 2014

Putin's shortsighted military play

The rising number of Russian violations of neighbors' airspace of late suggests that President Vladimir Putin is betting that the West can be shown up as a paper tiger. But Russian behavior seems only to be pushing European governments to reduce their interactions with ...

Nov 2, 2014

Too soon for a nuclear restart

The city assembly and the mayor of Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, have given their nod to restarting Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear power plant, although the concerns of many local residents have been left unaddressed.