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 ...

Dec 3, 2014

Why the clenched fists?

When Japanese are excited they punch the air with raised arms and clenched fists. Recently Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did it in photographs accompanying stories like “Wealth gap widening under Abe” (Nov. 23), and “U.S. in suspense over ‘Abenomics,’ ” and another one accompanying ...

Nov 22, 2014

Snap election is a cynical waste of tax money

There could be no more cynical way to waste the shrinking pie of public tax money than another meaningless election, reminiscent of the callous election Osaka leader Toru Hashimoto foisted on its citizens not so long ago just to bolster one individual’s own political ...

Nov 22, 2014

Also ask voters about Article 9

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said recently announced his decision to hold a snap election next month. He said, “We do need to ask Japanese citizens about the tax raise from 8 percent to 10 percent.” His words seem to be very democratic but ...

Nov 19, 2014

Coexisting with differences

The Nov. 8 editorial “A shameful statement on Ainu” reminded me of my experiences overseas and made me think of living in peace with differences. Any time I am traveling or staying in another country, one of the most often asked questions I get ...

Nov 19, 2014

Teach more about the Ainu

Why hasn’t LDP Hokkaido prefectural assembly group member Masaru Onodera been asked to resign? The Ainu are among the most indigenous of people to ever dwell in the archipelago now called Japan since the Jomon era. It’s believed by many cultural anthropologists that the ...

Nov 12, 2014

Minister's idea of free expression

With regard to Tomohiro Osaki’s Nov. 6 article titled “New justice minister against outlawing hate speech,” I’d like to add my two-pence worth. First, I wonder what Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa means by “freedom of expression.” It seems that many politicians in Japan believe ...

Nov 12, 2014

No complaints from the natives

Regarding professor Jiro Yamaguchi’s Oct. 20 article, “Perilous spirit of the times“: I entirely agree with his observation that “It is pathetic that we have to quote the foreign media to criticize what’s going on in this country.” It’s also rather pathetic that expatriate ...