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.

Nov 30, 2013

Employees temper claims to holidays

The government's plan to make sure full-time regular employees take their paid holidays has apparently failed. A survey shows that workers claimed even fewer holidays in 2012 than they did in 2011.

Nov 29, 2013

Playing chicken in East Asia

by Gwynne Dyer

Just how does China intend to enforce its new "Air Defense Identification Zone" in the East China Sea? National pride and the personal reputation of new President Xi Jinping are both committed to this game now.