It may soon become clear whether the Japanese government's decision to bet on the power and ability of North Korea's State Security Department to resolve the fate of past Japanese abductees was justified.
In view of the disparity in professors' pay between Japanese and American universities, the notion of elevating Japanese universities' global rankings simply by bringing in outstanding "foreign talent" as instructors and researchers is a castle in the sky.
A Soviet attack on Japan proper leading to the destruction of the Emperor system and the establishment of a communist government frightened Japan's militarists even more than the atomic bombings at the end of World War II.
Japan would do better to steer gargantuan casino projects to regions that really need them — like economically depressed Okinawa or Tohoku, the northeast region that still hasn't recovered from the March 2011 earthquake.
One hundred years later, we Americans, Australians, British, Chinese, Europeans, Indians, Japanese, Koreans and Russians still have leaders with the same narrow chauvinist mind-set that sparked World War I, supposedly the war to end all wars.