Apr 23, 2014

Building 'sister-government' ties

This year our city, Hadano (Kanagawa Prefecture), celebrates 50 years of friendship with Pasadena, Texas. Pasadena’s official good will mission group visited Hadano this month in memory of our sister-city history. Exchange programs involving students, teachers, citizens, music groups, sports and so on have ...

Apr 23, 2014

Tax hike hits hospitals hard

Unlike many countries that do not tax essentials such as food and medicine, Japan’s consumption tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent applies to both, and will negatively affect hospitals and clinics. While grocers can increase prices 3 percent to cope with the ...

Apr 23, 2014

Muddling past the boomer bump

The line that really jumped out at me from the April 16 story “Japan population drops for third year straight; 25% are elderly” was that “Any suggestion of opening its borders to young workers who could help plug the population gap provokes strong reactions ...

Apr 19, 2014

Stigma comes with treatment for depression

This is in response to Michael Hoffman’s April 13 Big in Japan column, ” ‘Big Pharma’ manipulating the market? Now that’s depressing.” The role of pharmaceutical companies aside, we feel that the article does little to accurately discuss the complicated issue of depression and ...

Apr 19, 2014

Cultural rhetoric clouds policies

Regarding the April 16 article “Diet members dine on whale meat in defiance of ICJ ruling“: Symbolizing the blatant bare-faced aggressiveness of the government, the report that Liberal Democratic Party members fed on their own hostility leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. It’s ...

Apr 19, 2014

Does Japan think it has 'friends'?

It’s small wonder that in the family of nations there are few countries today that would sincerely call Japan a “friend.” Trade partner maybe, friend never. Why is it so difficult for Japan to understand that the days of commercial whaling are over? And ...

Apr 16, 2014

Future disasters on Abe's hands

As a man living in a prefecture that hosts nuclear plants, Fukushima, I was very interested in the April 12 editorial “Energy plan looks to the past.” Frankly it’s very sad to realize that the Abe Cabinet apparently is not going to give much ...

Apr 16, 2014

Confused by energy conclusion

I am slightly confused over Jeff Kingston’s April 6 Counterpoint article, “Lessons of Fukushima: Reactor restarts are unwise“. It focuses on the findings of an online report by Kingston’s colleague Kyle Cleveland, titled “Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of ...

Apr 16, 2014

High hopes for special schools

Regarding the April 10 article “Ministry funds programs to hone high schoolers“: The idea of Japan’s education ministry injecting money into specially designated schools in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy is an interesting one that, I believe, has a great deal ...

Apr 16, 2014

Pakistan's investment potential

We regret to observe that the March 29 Mai Yamani article titled “Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic pilgrimage to Pakistan” is unfounded and based on speculation and conjecture. Pakistan enjoys excellent relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran. These relations are historically embedded in principles of ...

Apr 16, 2014

Don't judge Malaysia by tragedy

I worry that William Pesek’s April 12 commentary on Malaysia, titled”How Malaysia can limit harm from lost Flight 370,” is encouraging international readers to view the nation’s strengths and weaknesses through the tiny prism of the lost Malaysia Airlines flight. Certainly let’s call this ...

Apr 12, 2014

Brother Russia, Ukraine diverge on key values

Regarding the April 9 Bloomberg article “U.S. labels some eastern Ukraine protesters as ‘paid provocateurs’”: As a Ukrainian now living in Tokyo with my Japanese wife, I have been following events back home since the protests late last year against a corrupt government and ...