Economic realities of old reactors

Reports that power companies are considering decommissioning older nuclear power reactors indicate that they are selectively weighing the costs of their meeting safety criteria that has been tightened in the ...


Test scores can't tell all about kids

The education ministry's decision to make public, prefecture by prefecture, the average scores of annual nationwide achievement tests carried out in April for junior high and elementary school students is ...

Raise wages, not party donations

The Japan Business Federation's decision to resume urging roughly 1,300 member companies to make political donations is aimed at rebuilding the influence of the nation's largest business lobby on the ...

NATO's 'call to arms'

NATO's declaration of resolve to defend member states against aggression from the east must be followed by effective action

Sep 9, 2014

Nago's voters send a message

The outcome of Sunday's city assembly election in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, shows that voters remain strongly opposed to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to the Henoko area despite economic steps by the Abe administration to buy their support.

Sep 9, 2014

Reform key to eurozone growth

The surprise move by the European Central Bank to lower its main lending rate from 0.15 to 0.05 percent and to push the overnight deposit rate further into negative territory indicates the central bank's fear that the stagnating eurozone economy will fall into ...

Sep 8, 2014

Can Kansai airport take off?

As business picks up thanks to the launch of new low-budget airline flights and a surge in the number of foreign passengers, the government-owned operator of Kansai International Airport plans to sell its management rights in a bid to get out from under a ...

Sep 7, 2014

Updating the Civil Code

The brevity of Japan's Civil Code, compared with those in Western countries, has enabled flexible interpretations that the Justice Ministry is trying to standardize with proposed revisions that it has been working on for the past five years.

Sep 7, 2014

Medical school in Sendai

The education ministry has given the go-ahead for Tohoku Pharmaceutical University in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, to open the first university medical school since 1979.

Sep 6, 2014

Social media damps debate

A new American study finds that regular users of social media sites are among the least likely to share opinions or start a political debate, either online or in person.

Sep 5, 2014

Biggest defense budget requests

The Defense Ministry's fiscal 2015 budgetary request of ¥5.05 trillion is the largest ever and represents a 3.5 percent rise from the current year's budget. It is the third-straight year-on-year increase.

Sep 4, 2014

Keep a close eye on new Cabinet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reshuffled executive posts of the Liberal Democratic Party and his Cabinet apparently with the aim of setting up his re-election as the Liberal Democratic Party's president in autumn 2015.

Sep 4, 2014

Novartis drug probe falls short

The Tokyo criminal probe into the manipulation of clinical data pertaining to the efficacy of a Novartis Pharma-marketed drug for blood pressure has failed to unravel the whole picture of the scandal.

Sep 3, 2014

Japan and India's China challenge

Japan and India may find themselves talking at cross purposes if Tokyo is seeking closer ties with New Delhi as a means to counterbalance China's growing influence and assertiveness in the region.