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Kevin Rafferty
For Kevin Rafferty's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 26, 2015
Abe's magic doesn't work
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants Japan to believe there are magic solutions to the complex problems facing society, to the detriment of the nation.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 20, 2015
Too early for TPP cheers
The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations were a major blow against democracy and good governance, and the deal is studded with measures distorting capitalism and free markets.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 13, 2015
Japan should avoid making suicidal education mistakes
Japan's educational system will suffer greatly if political ignoramuses who know the price of everything and the value of nothing are allowed to have their way.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Aug 18, 2015
Shinzo Abe's sorry apology
Critics of Shinzo Abe have to concede that he used the right buzzwords in his address marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. But did he really mean them?
COMMENTARY / Japan
Aug 4, 2015
Abe losing to his demons
On the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat and surrender, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a wonderful opportunity to set a new path for Japan, for Asia and the world. But will he take it?
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jul 27, 2015
FT challenges Nikkei's values
The Financial Times is everything that Nikkei is not. It is questionable whether international and Japanese news values will fit easily together.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jul 22, 2015
Abe conjures himself up as the people's champion
The cancellation of Zaha Hadid's stadium smacks of cheap politicking by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 15, 2015
Dangerous deja vu all over
David Cameron's Conservatives are treading a dangerous path in renegotiating the U.K.'s membership and obligations in the EU.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
May 8, 2015
We need to talk about Abe
Shinzo Abe is bent on making Japan a 'normal' country, but has he thought out the consequences of elevating the SDF to a full-fledged military?
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 5, 2015
Death and destruction in Nepal
Can the tragedy of Nepal be turned into an opportunity for that country and the world?
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 9, 2015
The BBC's worldwide coverage is losing its way
BBC worldwide coverage is increasingly losing its way, suffering from budget cuts, dumbing down of content, loss of news priorities and a sacrifice of a true world view.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 31, 2015
Singapore's iron patriarch
Lee Kuan Yew cut his teeth on politics, but his ruthlessness in ensuring the dominance of his People's Action Party removed political contenders who might one day take over. It's the age-old problem when a great philosopher-king departs.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 23, 2015
U.S. forfeiting its leadership in global finance to China
China's plans to set up the Asian International Investment Bank have demonstrated that the U.S. has lost its way and is rapidly forfeiting claims to global financial, economic, political or moral leadership.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 10, 2015
Abe's new policy on foreign aid risks playing with fire
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is playing with fire in declaring that Japan may give non-lethal assistance to foreign military forces.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 27, 2015
Empire of petty shopkeepers
It is clear that British Prime Minister David Cameron as well as many leading lights of the government coalition do not believe in the EU, yet they do not have a strategy for a British exit without penalties.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 16, 2015
Time to rein in greedy airlines
Hundreds of millions of airline passengers are facing unnecessary turbulence as airlines squeeze as much money as possible from them, and governments look away rather than see that passengers get a fair deal.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 12, 2015
Obama's lovefest with Modi
There are questions about how deep the relationship is between India and the U.S., as opposed to that between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama.
COMMENTARY
Jan 19, 2015
New Sri Lankan president has delicate balancing act
Sri Lankans have sprung a surprise with their commitment to democracy. They have thrown out a strongman president who had brought an end to a three-decade-long civil war and restored high economic growth.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 9, 2015
We are all Charlie, too late
The hope must be that the assassinations of cartoonists and journalists at the weekly Charlie Hebdo will waken political and media leaders to understand that press freedoms have been badly eroded worldwide.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 8, 2015
Pakistan at a tipping point
It may be too much wishful thinking to expect the slaughter of 132 schoolchildren and nine teaching staff in Peshawar last month to mark a tipping point that forces Pakistan's squabbling factions, the nominal political rulers, army commanders and judges to put their heads together to prevent their country from becoming a failed state.

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores