Dec 24, 2014

Who'll pay off the national debt?

Japan’s national debt, including local debt, apparently amounts to ¥1.2 quadrillion. This astronomical figure continues to expand at this moment. It is such an enormous sum that the government has no concrete repayment plan yet, and has left this problem to fester. It would ...

Dec 24, 2014

The Christian message in Japan

Michael Hoffman’s The Living Past article on Dec. 20, titled “Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack,” gives a well-researched history of Japan’s first encounter with the Christian faith 400 to 500 years ago, but says little of what has been happening ...

Dec 24, 2014

Priorities of dignity and security

Regarding the Dec. 10 editorial, “A test for Taiwan and China”: I would like to bring the following points to the attention of The Japan Times readers. The “nine-in-one” nationwide local government election of the Republic of China on Taiwan on Nov. 29 marks ...

Dec 24, 2014

Thumbs up for decontamination

Three years and nine months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor explosions, finally our house, about 65 km away from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma-machi, was decontaminated. It took a whole week to clean our piece ...

Dec 17, 2014

Opposition's pain, LDP's gain

Regarding the Dec. 14 article “Abe tightens grip on power as ruling coalition wins 325 seats in Lower House election“: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the main and possibly only beneficiary of this exercise in expensive futility. He can spend Christmas and New Year’s ...

Dec 17, 2014

Nuclear arms threat will persist

Regarding Ramesh Thakur’s Dec. 16 article, “Reducing the global threat posed by nuclear weapons“: Uh, good luck with that! The United States and the Soviet Union came very close to nuclear conflict a number of times during the dark days of the Cold War, ...

Dec 17, 2014

Despicable attack on violinist

As a musician and composer, I was greatly saddened to read in The Japan Times-incorporated International New York Times the Dec. 9 article “Fraud accusations stir violin world,” describing an American violinist’s despicable attack on the late Shinichi Suzuki, Japan’s highly respected founder of ...

Dec 17, 2014

Move toward a sustainable life

Consideration of Michael J. Boskin’s Nov. 22 article, “The next trade breakthroughs,” encourages my opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Keizai, the Japanese counterpart for the word “economy,” originally meant managing the state and supporting people’s lives — not making money. Most economists today are ...

Dec 13, 2014

Population worry is short-term one

Shinji Fukukawa offers many valid comments and criticisms in his Dec. 9 article, “Post-Abenomics” reforms,” but of his six suggestions for reform, the first one — that Japan must repopulate — is a red herring. I think that much of the hair- pulling and ...

Dec 10, 2014

Advances without atonement

I read with interest William Pesek’s Dec. 6 opinion piece, “Japan’s media needs to act as a watchdog, not a lapdog.” The failure to understand and address painful national issues has been on my mind. I am a frequent visitor to Japan. Recently, for ...

Dec 10, 2014

Distorted claims against China

Only the title of Brahma Chellaney’s Dec. 2 article, “Tibet core to Sino-Indian ties,” gets it right. Elsewhere, Chellaney lets his usual anti-China biases take over. India in 1954 did not implicitly accept China’s rights to Tibet without a quid pro quo, as he ...

Dec 10, 2014

Students take on nuclear debate

The Dec. 4 editorial, “Debating nuclear energy,” raises many issues on which high school students have been focusing — in English — for much of this year. The proposition for the Ninth Annual All Japan High School English Debate Tournament is that “The government ...