Jul 19, 2014

A better goal for Japan's economy

The chief economist for the OECD, Rintaro Tamaki, observes that the aim of Japanese economic policy is still mainly about strengthening growth, while European policy focuses on reducing inequality. Apparently you can't have both.

Jul 18, 2014

More needed than NRA safety nod

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has effectively given the green light for restarting an idled Kyushu Electric nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture under safety standards updated a year ago. After a period of public comment and local government approvals, two reactors of the plant, ...

Jul 17, 2014

Supreme Court's dereliction of duty

By rejecting a citizens' request to have the government disclose secret documents that allegedly show Japan's financial obligations in the 1972 reversion of Okinawa from U.S. control, the Supreme Court has evaded its duty to protect people's right to know.

Jul 17, 2014

Silver lining to labor shortage

Labor shortages in Japan are becoming increasingly problematic amid the current economic recovery, particularly for those sectors where rising wage costs result in lost sales and even bankruptcy — despite rising consumer demand.

Jul 15, 2014

The blowback from Shiga

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should realize that the defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party-backed candidate in the Shiga gubernatorial election Sunday is part of the price his administration pays for pushing to widen the scope of Japan's military role without seeking a mandate from ...

Jul 14, 2014

Rising costs of nursing care

Changes to the nursing care insurance system make the delivery of some services for people with less severe medical conditions the responsibility of municipalities, while raising the out-of-pocket share that some care recipients must pay.

Jul 14, 2014

South Sudan self-destructing

The major importers of oil from South Sudan — including the U.S. and China — should help the youngest country on the African continent achieve a national reconciliation, to pre-empt a full-blown civil war.

Jul 13, 2014

'A bad day for Europe'

When British Prime Minister David Cameron denounced the nomination of former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, Cameron made himself look either ineffectual or petulant to fellow Britons.

Jul 12, 2014

Mood changes from Facebook

Facebook at least learned one thing from its secretive experiment to manipulate users' news feeds to find out how their moods changed. It produced a lot of negative emotions in response.

Jul 12, 2014

Great apes going extinct by trade

Thousands of great apes — including chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans — are killed or trafficked each year in an illegal trade that is driving them toward extinction.

Jul 11, 2014

Pros and cons of genetic testing

More and more nonmedical companies are offering genetic testing services that inform people of their risks of developing cancer, diabetes and other diseases, but customers often don't understand the limits of such tests. Nor do they know what providers may do with such personal ...