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 Hugh Cortazzi

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Hugh Cortazzi
Hugh Cortazzi was posted to British Commonwealth Air Forces in Japan in 1946, and he joined the British Foreign (later diplomatic) service in 1949. After retiring, he worked in the city of London and was an adviser to a number of Japanese companies. He was chairman of the council of the Japan Society from 1985-1995. Since 1983 he has researched and written a number of books about Japanese culture and history and has edited and compiled a series of books on personalities active in Anglo-Japanese relations.
For Hugh Cortazzi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
COMMENTARY / Japan
May 18, 2015
Disillusionment with Japan
Inevitably observers of Japan are disappointed and disillusioned when they see that Japanese leaders in politics and business are failing to confront the demographic threat and promote the changes needed to achieve a positive future for Japan.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 13, 2015
Don't trust the U.K. pollsters
Britain's Labour Party lost the recent election because it had the wrong leader and unconvincing policies.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 14, 2015
Japan's prickly revisionists
The Abe government is reacting to foreign criticism of Japan in ways that harm the nation's national interests and reputation.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 7, 2015
No clear victors in U.K. debate
The main TV debate of Britain's national election campaign produced no clear winner.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 9, 2015
Threats from Islamic extremists
The fight against the Islamic State group will not be won solely by kicking Islamic State out of Irag or Syria or Libya. It will be won only if Muslims the world over not only denounce extremism but also propagate tolerance and equality.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 6, 2015
Under Putin, Russia poses a growing threat to peace
Not content with denying involvement in the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, President Vladimir Putin has propagated the usual conspiracy theory that the murder was a Western plot.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 4, 2015
Ending aggression in East Asia
Japan's postwar reconciliation efforts have borne abundant fruit that must be cherished and protected by the Abe government.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 3, 2015
Defeating Nazism: a just war
On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we should be mindful that the peace of Europe and of the world could be jeopardized by a return to rivalry between European states and the collapse of the European Union.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 25, 2015
Health care pressures grow
Expect the state of siege under which the National Health Service has labored recently to be the biggest political issue at the next election in Britain, due in May.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 16, 2015
Press freedoms threatened
A former British ambassador to Japan hopes that Japanese as well as British cartoonists continue to expose the pomposity, hypocrisy and inadequacies of their politicians, warning that press freedom can never be taken for granted.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 21, 2014
Push economic reforms, not a revisionist agenda
Japan-watchers in London say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would be wise to focus on reforming the Japanese economy while keeping a tight rein on the right wing of his party.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 14, 2014
Political and economic factors driving devolution
The push to return powers from Brussels to the British government, and to devolve powers from the British government to the regions, have become buzzwords in the U.K.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 30, 2014
Voters tiring of status quo
Voters in Britain and other European countries are increasingly fed up with their established political parties and looking for alternatives.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 31, 2014
Does right-wing extremism threaten Japan's democracy?
Japan's image abroad is suffering as a result of the apparently growing influence of right-wing extremists in the government. It is in Japan's national interest to discourage revisionists from propagating historical lies that might threaten the democratic processes.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 21, 2014
Future of Chinese democracy
The Chinese government's insistence that candidates for election to the post of Hong Kong chief executive first be approved by Beijing makes a mockery of its undertaking to introduce universal suffrage.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 2, 2014
The reluctant warriors against Islamic State
The British appeared so hesitant in joining the fight against Islamic State because of, among other things, the widespread public feeling that Britain should never again become involved in a Mideast war involving differences between Muslim sects.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 22, 2014
U.K. stays intact, promising more powers to nationalists
The No-to-independence campaign in Scotland was greatly helped by the publication of a joint pledge by all three U.K. party leaders that there would be speedy legislation conferring extensive new powers to the Scottish parliament.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 9, 2014
Political correctness must not be allowed to hide the truth
Some Muslim leaders in Britain are trying to deter young firebrands in their communities from going off to fight for the Islamic State, but a great deal more should be done to teach moderation in one's religion and, above all, tolerance of other religions.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 19, 2014
The Islamic extremist threat
The U.S. and Britain are understandably reluctant to get sucked into a Mideast war involving Sunnis against Shiites. But can we stand back and watch the Islamic State carry out genocide?
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 11, 2014
Threat from Putin's Russia
The threat that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses to peace in Europe underscore that NATO member countries have gone too far in running down their defense expenditures.

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