Apr 26, 2014

'Spoiled Child' fits Japan's stature

Regarding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s dedication of a masakaki tree offering to Yasukuni Shrine during its spring festival last week: It seems clear that Japan is suffering from an acute case of national immaturity. Its politicians seem quite unable to see that making a ...

Apr 26, 2014

Scuttling a chance to end the ill will

Regarding the April 20 AFP-Jiji article “Diet ranks vow to defy ICJ ruling“: It was with considerable satisfaction that I heard of the recent 12-4 ruling by the International Court of Justice in favor of Australia’s lawsuit against Japan’s whaling program. At last, I ...

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 ...