Jul 1, 2014

Say no to plea bargaining

The biggest problem with plea bargaining, which a special legislative panel has recommended introducing into Japan's criminal investigative process, is the possibility that a suspect will make false confessions for a lesser punishment or wrongly implicate a person who has nothing to do with ...

Jul 1, 2014

Weak response to sexist taunts

The way in which the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly's effectively closed the book on the sexist jeering of a female assembly member during a plenary session raises doubts as to whether the assembly takes sexual harassment seriously.

Jun 30, 2014

The new squeeze on Argentina

Hopefully Argentina and the creditors who've held out on agreeing to a decade-old deal to restructure Argentine debt will redouble efforts to reach a settlement in the next month before a real default occurs.

Jun 29, 2014

Rushing on collective self-defense

The Abe administration may adopt a Cabinet decision as early as this week to change the government's long-standing interpretation of the Constitution so that Japan can participate in "collective self-defense." Opinions from the public do not seem welcome.

Jun 28, 2014

Hong Kong's democratic 'farce'

The prospect of a clash between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland has become more real in recent weeks as Hong Kong residents participate in a poll on how to select their top leader. Although it is not legally binding, the ballot has angered ...

Jun 27, 2014

Legal tussle over parental ties

Japan's Supreme Court next month is scheduled to hear two cases that challenge the traditional legal presumption of a father-child relationship when DNA test results deny the existence of blood ties.

Jun 27, 2014

Abe's drive to reform agriculture

Given the limited impact of proposed farm-sector reform on Japan's economic growth, there is speculation that the push for reform on the prime minister's part is driven mainly by a desire to weaken the political influence of JA-Zenchu.

Jun 26, 2014

Ensure stability of pension fund

It would be a mistake to view the Abe administration's shakeup of the Government Pension Investment Fund as a short-term shot in the arm for the stock market rather than as a way to stabilize the nation's public pension system.

Jun 26, 2014

Old silk mill gains new importance

Gunma Prefecture's Tomioka Silk Mill, which UNESCO has decided to add to the World Cultural Heritage List, symbolizes 19th-century Japan's efforts to become a member of the industrialized world.

Jun 25, 2014

Stop undermining Kono statement

A government panel has reported that some parts of the 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono concerning the “comfort women” at Japan’s wartime frontline brothels were the product of diplomatic negotiations between Tokyo and Seoul. Still, the panel’s findings do not ...

Jun 25, 2014

Winds of change in retail industry

The retail industry is entering into a period of major transformation. In addition to traditional entities such as department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores, new retail business forms are emerging, including mega shopping mall developments led by real estate companies and JR train terminals ...

Jun 24, 2014

Funding the corporate tax cut

The Abe administration's decision to cut corporate taxes as a key feature of its economic growth strategy doesn't indicate how a fiscally weak government will make up the lost tax revenue even as households face another consumption tax hike next year.