Dec 9, 2016

Time to bring JLPT into the 21st century

December is the time for thousands of students to take the notoriously infamous Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Last Sunday in central Tokyo, more than 800 students had to spend five hours in a room to take a test that requires just three hours ...

Dec 9, 2016

Gratitude from travelers in need

My husband and I are experienced independent travelers. We have been visiting Japan for over 30 years. It is one of our favorite destinations, but even so we know only a few words in Japanese — thank you, good morning, delicious and cute. We ...

Dec 9, 2016

Absurd for Japan to pay more to U.S.

Asked about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s urging on the campaign trail that Japan pay more for the U.S. forces stationed here, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said at a recent news conference that Japan pays enough for hosting the U.S. military. Note, however, that Article ...

Dec 2, 2016

Look deeper at Abe's visit with Trump

When it comes to making international statements about another leader’s trustworthiness, perhaps a leader who himself was not elected to the top by the majority of the electorate is not the most qualified person to do so (“Abe says Trump can be trusted” in ...

Dec 2, 2016

Immigrants should be treated better

Regarding “Japan enacts law to prevent abuse of foreign trainees” in the No. 18 edition, having watched Donald Trump’s offenses against Mexican and Muslim immigrants in the U.S. during the presidential campaign, I started thinking about how Japanese society will be in the next ...

Nov 25, 2016

Method for killing dolphins is inhumane

We were interested to see the article ‘Taiji’s dolphin hunters have a new voice‘ (Media Mix, Oct. 23) exploring some of the social issues and controversy surrounding the hunting of dolphins in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. Nevertheless, we are concerned that while the article explores ...

Nov 25, 2016

Police failed victim of school bullying

Regarding “Police warned school about extortion of bullied Fukushima boy in 2011” in the Nov. 19 edition, students stole ¥1.5 million from a fellow student through bullying and the police simply turned the case over to the school to rectify. It seems the police ...

Nov 25, 2016

Hayakawa blazed trail for Mifune

Regarding the story “Mifune: The making of Japan’s ‘Last Samurai’ ” in the Nov. 19 edition, how soon they forget. Or is it that they simply don’t know? I met Toshiro Mifune for the first time when he appeared at the old Toho Theater ...

Nov 18, 2016

A message of sharing for the world's leaders

A thatched-roof farmhouse together with the deep red-orange color of a ripe persimmon tree is an archetypal scene of late autumn in Japan. Such a view makes our country so beautiful and has a unique power of healing with a nostalgic feeling. I have ...

Nov 18, 2016

Trump may leave Japan defenseless

The American voters have spoken. Professionalism, dignity and respect are no longer valued. Instead of electing a president who stands as a moral leader, Americans elected an unqualified, childish man who uses nicknames and lies to attack those who oppose him. As an American ...

Nov 18, 2016

President Trump is a risk worth taking

Electing Donald Trump might have been a gamble. He could potentially be one of the most controversial presidents in the history of the United States, but there have been presidents in the past, most notably Bill Clinton, who have been equally questionable. With the ...

Nov 11, 2016

For Trump, the opposite of a Greek tragedy

Finally, the curtain has drawn on Donald Trump’s vaudevillian presidential run and, after nearly 600 days, the lights went down with a shocking twist: victory. While his detractors’ immediate shock will likely prevent them from having 20/20 hindsight, the Trump troupe’s success shows that ...