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Kevin Rafferty
For Kevin Rafferty's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 28, 2014
Hacking of low brow movie raises high stakes issues
The movie 'The Interview,' featuring the supposed blowing up of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, is a sad commentary on the idiocies of our troubled times. It should not have been made.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 15, 2014
Taiwan's voters say 'hands off'
Taiwanese voters late last month sent an important message to their government and to Big Brother China watching from across the narrow strait — hands off our democracy.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 8, 2014
Can U.S. prosperity be maintained when the majority are left out?
While the rise and rise of stock markets has exacerbated the yawning gulf between rich and poor Americans this Christmas, workers in New York are being driven farther and farther into the suburbs.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 5, 2014
Japan's 'zombienomics'
The hard reality is that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's vaunted economic reforms will not work unless he shows more guts, much more imagination and a lot more humility in dealing with a modern economy that cannot be commanded by fiat.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 18, 2014
Little bang for the G-20 buck
The G-20 is not a meeting for learning or dialogue but for posturing and selfies.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 2, 2014
China's rule by law, not of it
China is embarked on a major reform dedicated, leaders claim, to improving the rule of law, but subject to the will of the ruling Communist Party. This is really rule by law, not the rule of law.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 20, 2014
Big Pharma, world leaders not cut out for Ebola battle
Scientists at leading universities, rather than Big Pharma, are fighting the battle against Ebola and other tricky diseases, while the response of Western leaders has been to try to keep Ebola out of their backyards.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 3, 2014
Hong Kong's Tiananmen moment challenging leadership in Beijing
Hong Kong's leaders have failed to let Beijing understand that, almost without exception, the leading Hong Kong politicians are good Chinese patriots.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 16, 2014
Poor politics led to Scot vote
The very fact that a referendum is being held at all on Scottish independence is an indictment of the quality of British politicians going back particularly to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who triggered Scots' simmering resentment against Westminster with her infamous poll tax.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 8, 2014
City rankings out of touch with 21st century reality
These days there are so many news stories about disease, disaster, doom and death that some media apparently want to lighten the gloom by reporting silly surveys on the most pleasant city to live in.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 5, 2014
Beijing's Humpty Dumpty mindset damages Hong Kong
Hong Kong people may soon be able to choose their chief executive, but they will not have a real democratic choice in who can be a candidate for office.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Aug 17, 2014
Small-minded leaders flirt with a 'sunlit picture of Hell'
One hundred years later, we Americans, Australians, British, Chinese, Europeans, Indians, Japanese, Koreans and Russians still have leaders with the same narrow chauvinist mind-set that sparked World War I, supposedly the war to end all wars.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 7, 2014
Pope rises to Asia challenge
When Pope Francis touches down in Asia next week, a region of the world his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI never visited, he will land in an unexpected place.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 28, 2014
No letup in the inhumanity
Where are the peacemakers hiding? In China, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia and the Middle East, leaders have dug in and are picking at old sores and animosities, even trying to celebrate them.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 4, 2014
The age of intelligent robots
When a chatbot can convince judges at Britain's Royal Society that it is a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy with limited English skills, it may be time to worry about a computer taking your job.
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 16, 2014
Corruption rumors sideline Beautiful Game's rewards
New squalid facts, claims and rumors are emerging every week suggesting that the game of soccer may be beautiful but some of its leading figures are too close to dark and shadowy criminal forces.
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 2, 2014
India's diversity is Modi's burden
Whether new Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Gujarat state recipe can work well for all of India is problematic. India needs more competition, new ideas, new entrepreneurs — not new privileges for the rich
COMMENTARY / World
May 11, 2014
Bring back 40-hour week as a matter of life and death
A small but impassioned group of psychologists and business academics are making a plea for changing the daily working routine away from the ethics of the nerds and geeks of Silicon Valley and back toward the 40-hour working week.
COMMENTARY / World
May 5, 2014
Is Modi too big a man for India?
The biggest problem with the rise of political superhero Narendra Modi is that it follows the 'Big Man' model, which is flawed many times over in the case of diverse India.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 11, 2014
Evolving tale of two Chinas
The fear that China may try to take over their island is what prompted Taiwanese students last month to protest a services trade pact with China then stage a 'sunflower' sit-in of Taiwan's parliament.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on