Dec 6, 2013

Government without oversight

Even if the state secrets bill becomes a law, it will be important for people to continue grass-roots movements to oppose it and to prevent from being used to curb their right to know and to express their thought and opinions.

Dec 5, 2013

Voter inequality under the law

The disparity in vote value between more and less populous Upper House constituencies has grown so wide that it is undermining the principle of equality under the law with regard to the representation of voters's will.

Dec 4, 2013

Ishiba validates secrecy bill fears

In his recent criticism of public demonstrations near the Diet building by those opposed to the secrecy bill, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba validated concerns that the bill could be used to silence citizens who express certain political opinions or demands.

Dec 2, 2013

The politics of secrets

Flip-flops in government explanations of the contentious bill for protecting state secrets — now under deliberation in the Upper House — suggest that the government itself does not have a clear idea of how it plans to prevent the arbitrary designation of information as ...

Lady Gaga gets dolled up in Tokyo

Dec 1, 2013

Lady Gaga gets dolled up in Tokyo

by Jun Hongo

Leave it to Japan’s humanoid robotics to outdo the world’s most avant-garde diva. Multi-platinum pop star Lady Gaga, in Japan to promote her new album “Artpop,” was presented Sunday with four life-size dolls resembling her, created using precise anatomical measures and realistic silicone skin. ...

Dec 1, 2013

NSC council has dangerous flaws

The Upper House has enacted a law that establishes a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council. But there's no guarantee the NSC will contribute to the government's making rational security and diplomatic decisions.

Dec 1, 2013

A shift in rice production policy

It will take much more than an end to the rice paddy area reduction policy coupled with subsidies to turn Japanese agriculture into a growth sector as envisioned by the Abe administration.