Hugh Cortazzi


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:
Aug 4, 2013
Japan's British investments
A Japan government memorandum could be warning Britain that if it decides to leave the EU, Japanese companies will relocate investments away from the U.K.
Jul 9, 2013
Revolution and democracy
The military coup in Egypt and the arrest of President Mohamed Morsi do not signal the end either of the Arab spring or of progress toward adopting democratic norms.
Jun 14, 2013
It takes a global village to ensure fair, safe trade
It takes a global village to ensure health, safety and fair wages for the factory workers who make the goods in most demand by the developed world.
Jun 5, 2013
Butchery on a London street
The brutal and flagrant murder of an off-duty British soldier on a street in a London suburb in broad daylight on May 22 has caused both shock and horror in Britain. The two alleged assailants were British nationals of Nigerian origin in their 20s who had converted to Islam and been imbued with jihadist doctrines.
May 16, 2013
UKIP rides wave of discontent
Britain as well as Japan must contend with xenophobic anti-establishment parties and politicians who want to take their nations back to imaginary periods of isolation.
May 10, 2013
Vicissitudes of health care
We sometimes forget how lucky we are to have access to today's health care, compared to that of even a century ago, but there is still so much room for improvement.
Apr 17, 2013
The 'Iron Lady' and Japan
Margaret Thatcher was a role model for Japanese women and her combination of talents as a politician and scientist has had an important impact on Japanese attitudes.
Apr 9, 2013
How safe are the EU banks?
The top priority for the EU should be the development of an effective banking union with tough rules and proper enforcement.
Apr 6, 2013
Graft: a cancer on society
Some British companies fear that adhering to the international convention against bribery and corruption puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
Mar 7, 2013
Where's the world policeman when you need one?
With the international scene looking more unstable than it has since the fall of the Berlin Wall, how can Japan respond more readily to threats to peace?
Feb 25, 2013
Reining in the welfare costs
British welfare reform advocates want to replace the current array of benefits with a single system of tax credits. This won't happen soon, however.
Feb 4, 2013
'Abenomics' missing the mark
The economic policies enunciated by the Abe government may have some beneficial effects, but seem inadequate in themselves to revive the Japanese economy in the long run.
Jan 16, 2013
Rewriting history is unwise
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has appointed a Cabinet that, according to press reports, contains a number of ministers who want to rewrite the history of the 20th century. They, including the new minister of education, are reported as demanding the rescinding of the statement made in 1995 by former Prime Minister Tomoichi Murayama expressing remorse for Japanese atrocities in Asia.
Jan 5, 2013
Gender equality key to Japan's future prosperity
The queen's grandson Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. His wife, Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant. Under the present rules, if her first child were to be a daughter and they subsequently had a boy, the boy would automatically become the next in the line of succession.
Dec 14, 2012
Press and Internet freedom
The exposure of the scandalous behavior of the popular press in Britain in hacking into the telephones of people in the news caused such anger that the British prime minister set up a judicial inquiry into standards of behavior in the media.
Dec 5, 2012
Cast your ballots carefully
Disillusionment with politicians and established political parties has been growing in democratic countries for some time. Politicians are increasingly seen as venal. Some are incompetent and ignorant. Many are often arrogant and conceited. But we cannot do without them.
Nov 28, 2012
Failures in market economies
The eurozone has not yet collapsed and all countries not in the zone must hope that it will survive. If it did fall apart and new currencies were established, there would be serious threats not only to international trade but also to economic growth and prosperity. Competitive devaluations would exacerbate international tensions and high inflation, which might follow, could lead to the collapse of democratic governments.
Oct 21, 2012
Using the noodle to gain insight into Japanese culinary culture
SLURP! A Social and Culinary History of Ramen — Japan's Favorite Noodle Soup, by Barak Kushner. Global Oriental, 2012, 289 pp., $90 (hardcover) Under the heading "Ramen is Japan" Barak Kushner asserts: "Ramen (regular and instant) permeates all features of contemporary Japanese life." He goes on to declare that a lifestyle investigation in 2004 showed that an overwhelming majority of Japanese prefer ramen to other noodle dishes including soba, udon or pasta. As someone who is particularly fond of zaru-soba and who is conscious of the pride of various regions such as Nagano in their own special varieties of soba and udon, I find this surprising.
Sep 13, 2012
Airports: too few or too many?
A hot political question in London in recent weeks has been the need for more airport capacity to meet the needs of business in the 21st century. A neutral observer might think that this is essentially a matter that should be settled on the basis of supply and demand and the relationship between these two factors and the costs, which must take into account noise and pollution.
Sep 5, 2012
Paralympics a smash success
The general feeling after the London Olympics was that the excitement was over. The Paralympics would, it was feared, be a damp squib after the games. In fact the Paralympics have attracted large and enthusiastic audiences. The media have given the competitions almost as much coverage as they did to the main sporting events of the Olympics. London has again shown that Britain is capable of organizing another spectacular show.


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