Jan 15, 2015

Deplorable rejection of a retrial

A Nagoya court uses a depolorable rationale to reject the eighth request for retrial of an 88-year-old death row inmate convicted of fatally poisoning five women in 1961.

Jan 15, 2015

Cost of putting off reform

The draft government budget for fiscal 2015 paints a positive picture with regard to expectations of more tax revenue but indicates little effort to rein in government spending to restore Japan's financial health.

Jan 14, 2015

Risky nursing care cutbacks

The government should carefully monitor the nursing care industry to ensure that budgetary cutbacks do not reduce quality of their services.

Jan 14, 2015

Avoid undue toll on athletes

Venue changes aimed at reducing the ballooning costs of the 2020 Olympic Games should be made in a manner that does not take an undo toll on the athletes.

Jan 13, 2015

Strong-arming Okinawa's governor

A reported Abe administration plan to sharply trim spending on measures to spur Okinawa's economy in fiscal 2015 smacks of an attempt to coerce Okinawa's new governor into ending his resistance to construction of a new U.S. military facility in the prefecture.

Jan 13, 2015

Launch secrecy oversight panels

The designation of some government information as "secret" continues as allowed under a new law, but the sole mechanism for overseeing the process has not been launched.

Jan 12, 2015

Set clear goals for unified schools

The education ministry plans to submit bills to the Diet that will legally institutionalize unified schools — encompassing grades one through nine — as part of the nation's compulsory education system.

Jan 12, 2015

Local initiatives key in revitalization

This will be an important year for local governments across Japan as the Abe administration pushes the revitalization of the nation's regional economies. Given the dire demographic situation, it's not clear when local government leaders will get another chance to realize this goal.

Jan 11, 2015

Ending worker exploitation

As part of its effort to stamp out abusive practices against workers, Japan's labor ministry plans to set up a system under which public employment security offices may decline to accept notices of job availability from so-called black companies.

Jan 11, 2015

Private sector must do its part

On the campaign trail last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he saw signs of a "virtuous economic cycle" emerging, in which improved corporate earnings would create more jobs, leading to higher wages and increased consumption. Can his policies make that happen?

Jan 10, 2015

Proactive emissions plan needed

Although Japan is the world's fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, there doesn't seem to be the prospect that Tokyo will submit its COP20 emissions cut plan before the March 31 deadline.

Jan 9, 2015

'Je suis Charlie'

The world has united in defiance of the terrorist attempt to silence a French magazine. It must remain equally vigilant against over-reaction to the killings.