Jul 9, 2014

Selling out a postwar conscience

Japan’s current prime minister is now officially the man who sold out Japan’s postwar pacifist conscience. In his own personal second coming to the position of premiership, and surrounded by the most bellicose Cabinet in 70 years, Shinzo Abe has rammed through a pacifist-piercing ...

Jul 9, 2014

A great nation must face its past

I’m a visitor from the United States who has resided in the Philippines for 12 years. Japan is the friendliest and most well-run country on Earth; however, the constant denials of Japan’s brutality during the “East Asia co-prosperity” years are disheartening, damaging and unnecessary. ...

Jul 9, 2014

Mindset that favors fascism

Regarding Barry Andrew Ward’s June 26 letter, “Scare tactics from the EU tribe“: Leaving aside Ward’s naive view that workers’ rights would be safe under politicians who regard Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron as lily-livered lefties, I would like to focus on his misunderstanding ...

Jul 9, 2014

An impossible radiation level

Regarding the July 4 editorial, “Questions about nuclear safety“: There was no reason to evacuate Fukushima. The evacuation was caused by overly strict laws, not by radiation. The 1,600 deaths cited in the editorial should be blamed on the overly strict laws that forced ...

Jul 9, 2014

Disturbing SDF recruiting drive

Regarding the July 5 article “Timing is everything in the SDF’s recruitment drive“: The recruitment tieup between the Self-Defense Forces and the all-girl pop troupe AKB48 is awkward. Could it mean Japan will have conscription in the future? The prospect of a conscription system ...

Jul 9, 2014

Media lap up the North's drivel

Regarding the June 26 AFP-Jiji article “Poking fun at Pyongyang: Movie about plot to kill Kim angers North“: North Korea, which has launched numerous diatribes against U.S. senior officials, has again demonstrated its usual anachronistic behavior by threatening to “mercilessly” target the United States ...

Jul 9, 2014

English for third graders lagging

Since the education ministry announced its plan in October 2013 to start English education from the third grade of elementary school, more than half a year has passed and the ministry still has not decided when to start. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in ...

Jul 5, 2014

Japan's voters seem apathetic to sexist pols

Regarding Philip Brasor’s June 29 Media Mix column, “Sexist remarks seen through a clouded lens“: I find it ironic and quite hypocritical that Tokyo assembly member Ayaka Shiomura, who spent most of her professional life perpetuating the marginalization of women, now plays the victim ...

Jul 5, 2014

Flag the opinion of a nonresident

It’s very useful to hear about perceptions of Japan from people living outside the country. But these perceptions are most helpful when they’re presented as reporting, or within an opinion piece describing how, say, Americans, Germans or Indians think about Japanese politics, society or ...

Jul 5, 2014

Reinterpretation is no suicide pact

As a scholar specializing in international law and with 10 years of experience in teaching the law, I read the July 3 editorial, titled “Abe guts Article 9,” with great disappointment and dismay. The editorial claims that the Cabinet decision on July 1, which ...

Jul 5, 2014

Give the athletes a break in 2020

Regarding the June 20 article “Holding 2020 Games in August dangerous“: What was Tokyo’s Governor’s Office thinking when it made its pitch to the International Olympic Committee? Has any IOC member jogged around the Imperial Palace in downtown Tokyo in late July or early ...

Jul 2, 2014

War decisions aren't 'collective'

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution states that “the Japanese people shall forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” But in all of the debate over ...