Nov 4, 2016

Promises to end 'karoshi' ring hollow

I was saddened to read of the suicide of Matsuri Takahashi, driven to depression by the culture of overwork, bullying and harassment at the Dentsu Inc. advertising agency. That a young, intelligent woman should be made so miserable that she would take her own ...

Nov 4, 2016

What's to be done about the TPP?

Frankly it is time for a backup plan. Even if Hillary Clinton is elected president of the United States, as appears likely, she is not going to move on this for a year or two and it is extremely difficult to predict what she ...

Nov 4, 2016

Coming to grips with Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize was a surprise, not because he didn’t fully deserve the honor but because he did and because the Swedish awards committee fully understood this. Dylan’s Nobel should remind us of Yasunari Kawabata, who won the literature prize in 1968. How ...

Nov 4, 2016

Trump's run really a grab for profit

As the campaigning for the next American president reaches its climax, it resembles more a soap opera than a serious political occasion to elect the most powerful individual on the planet. For Donald Trump, it seems that the only aim has been to further ...

Nov 4, 2016

Safety in one-sidedness or in balance?

If we can see past the United States presidential campaign’s diversionary mudslinging and charisma (or lack thereof) we realize we all just want to be safe, and that starts with strength in our leadership. When feeling unsafe, it’s so easy to fearfully react with ...

Nov 4, 2016

Not many Americans support Trump

I would like to remind the fine citizens all over Japan that Donald Trump does not represent the views and feelings of many Americans. I, for one, am embarrassed by him and hold onto hope that he is defeated next week in his bid ...

Oct 21, 2016

Looking at what makes children grow

Every morning I enjoy taking a walk for about half an hour or so. For 15 years, my dog was my walking partner, but she died several years ago and I still feel so lonesome. However, I have recently realized that plants and schoolchildren ...

Oct 21, 2016

No soap dispensers in public toilets

I just spent two weeks in Tokyo, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Loved the onsen in Shimoda! I was shocked to discover that Japan still does not provide soap in the toilets! I have been to Japan many, many times and am ...

Oct 21, 2016

Clamp down now on passive smoke

I read with interest the story “Health ministry unveils draft plan to combat passive smoking” in the Oct. 14 edition. It must happen long before 2020 or the government will receive bulk legal action from residents, employees and tourists who have developed cancer from ...

Oct 21, 2016

Narcissist Trump is clearly unfit

Donald Trump seems to suffer from a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD); he behaves as if he’s the poster boy for that mental condition. And a narcissist of Trump’s ilk — one who makes Muhammad Ali’s showboating jests look tame by comparison ...

Oct 14, 2016

Unfortunate rise in ignorance and prejudice

I want to write about a little experience I had yesterday on my way back from work. It’s an incident which I’m sure all of us living in Japan have experienced, and highlights two issues in this country. I boarded Tokyo’s Hibiya Line, which ...

Oct 14, 2016

Thai royalty stays above politics

I wish to refer to the Oct. 1 column titled “Thai monarchy could be heading for a crisis” by Pavin Chachavalpongpun and wish to clarify the following: The Thai monarchy has not only been a pillar of stability in Thailand, but also the core ...