Commentary Topics

Jul 13, 2014

A migrant structure for Japan

by William Barriga

Setting numerical targets on immigration or the birthrate is a typical government planning tool, but migration is much more than a mathematical equation. Japan's government needs to give serious consideration to establishing an interministerial entity that ensures a "whole-of-government" approach.

Jul 10, 2014

Cost of passive power struggles

by Yoichi Funabashi

The chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation recalls how the failure of the navy minister to express a truthful personal opinion within a group closed the window on Japanese doves' hopes of averting war months before the Pearl Harbor attack.

Jul 8, 2014

Japan's innovation challenge

by Shinji Fukukawa

The Abe administration's capacity for deciding how to raise the birthrate, improve child-care facilities, realize an appropriae work-life balance and promote other "innovations" that enable Japan to solve its many problems is now being tested.

Jul 7, 2014

High test scores, low expectations

by Walt Gardner

Young people in Japan, like their counterparts in the U.S., know that high scores on tests have little to do with their job prospects. So why do a higher percentage of American students still report being hopeful about their prospects for a good life?

Jul 1, 2014

Abe's economic bull's-eye

by Koichi Hamada

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled the so-called third arrow of what has come to be known as Abenomics. It involves the removal of obstacles to growth for business, particularly the easing of regulatory barriers. Expect some officials to resist this initiative.

| Jul 1, 2014

China's 'shadow banking' challenge

A new financial service operated by China's biggest e-commerce firm Alibaba could crack open the country's economic system as it draws customers from the major state-owned commercial banks by paying higher interest rates to depositors.