Apr 30, 2014

Growing more women scientists

The April 16 AFP-JIJI article “Japan’s scientists: just 14% female” must be frustrating for the Japanese government, but nowhere near as frustrating as it is for the women trying to mark their way in a field traditionally dominated by men. The problem in Japan, ...

Apr 30, 2014

A government that can't reason

It is unbelievable how thick, stubborn and stupid the government of Japan is on some essential questions that project the Japanese people’s reputation widely across the world. Despite the fact that there is no profit in whale meat and that it ends up being ...

Apr 30, 2014

Much ado about 'fluid prejudice'

Regarding the April 28 Reuters article “China releases trove of Japanese sex slave records“: It’s wonderful to learn that China has released a “trove” of confidential Japanese records on sex slaves, but why weren’t these records released decades ago? And wouldn’t it be even ...

Apr 26, 2014

Depending on Obama to curb Abe's notions

Regarding U.S. President Barack Obama’s trip to Japan last week: Animosity among Asian leaders is nearing a critical mass as governments of the main players becoming increasingly hard-line and intolerant. America must insist that Japan cease its deliberate tit-for-tat aggravations that risk serious conflict. ...

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 ...