Dec 30, 2014

Bad feelings toward the neighbors

An overwhelming majority of people in Japan harbor negative sentiments toward Asian neighbors that the government calls "partners responsible for the peace and prosperity of the region." What is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe going to do about that?

Dec 29, 2014

Pesky political fund problems

The return of Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc to a two-thirds majority in the Lower House has all but sidelined a spate of political fund problems that hit Cabinet members before the snap election. But it has not erased them.

Dec 28, 2014

Using errors to advance agendas

An independent panel's findings on the Asahi Shimbun's retraction of a series of past articles on the "comfort women" issue offer important lessons to reporters, editors and newspaper management.

Dec 26, 2014

Occupy Central's spirit endures

The Occupy Central movement that shut down the heart of Hong Kong for 79 days over the demand for greater democracy in the Special Administrative Region is over. But the impulses that drove the movement have not disspated.

Dec 25, 2014

Testing students' ability to think

An education ministry council could be presenting an over-idealized picture of its proposed reforms of Japan's university entrance exams, often criticized for placing too much emphasis on rote learning.

Dec 25, 2014

Japan's space goals

Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2, launched by Japan Space Exploration Agency on Dec. 5, is flying without a hitch so far. Regardless of whether this mission is successful, Japan needs to continue advancing its space exploration capabilities.

Dec 24, 2014

Standing up to threats

A Sapporo university's decision to retain an instructor in the face of rightist threats is a victory for freedom of expression and other fundamental democratic rights.

Dec 23, 2014

Protecting sexual minorities' rights

A Japanese civic group survey has the ruling Liberal Democratic Party standing out from other parties in its failure to view issues involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people as human rights problems.

Dec 22, 2014

A broader say in reactor restarts

As the Abe administration pushes to restart idled nuclear power plants that have cleared safety screening, the question of which local governments should also have a say in whether a plant may restart remains open.

Dec 22, 2014

Change Olympic stadium design

A decision should be made soon on whether design changes are necessary to the new National Stadium planned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so that it conforms to the international Olympic spirit and stands as a legacy that future generations can be proud of.