Dec 19, 2013

Defense buildup won't bring security

With the adoption of Japan's first comprehensive guideline for security policy and diplomacy, the Abe Cabinet appears to operate under the illusion that the use of force ultimately could resolve the difficult situation the nation finds itself in.

Dec 17, 2013

Misguided focus on test results

Reversing its traditional position, the education ministry has decided to let municipal boards of education publicize the results for individual schools in the achievement tests taken by sixth and ninth graders nationwide. An even worse obsession with test scores could follow.

Dec 17, 2013

So far, so good for 'Abenomics'


Give the first year of "Abenomics" an "E" for effort, as the "third arrow" of the plan — long-term growth strategy — cannot yet be fairly assessed. Hopefully bureaucratic resistance to deregulation will soften in the coming year.

Dec 16, 2013

Defaulting to the old ways

The Abe administration seems to be reverting to an old energy policy by revisiting an old policymaking process, despite the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

Dec 14, 2013

Nursing services under the knife

The health and welfare ministry plans to end some services under the nursing care insurance system for people whose conditions are not so severe, and have municipalities take them over.

Dec 14, 2013

A fair division of tax revenues

The central government should try to work out a permanent system of distributing prefectural corporate taxes to local governments that will help stabilize local revenue and decentralize administrations.

Dec 10, 2013

U.S. moves embolden China


China's Nov. 23 declaration of an air defense identification zone extending to territories it does not control is just the latest example of its jurisdictional creep that reflects a larger strategy to supplant the U.S. as the preeminent power in Asia.