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Leonid Bershidsky
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 17, 2018
Why Germany didn't join the missile strikes on Syria
Chancellor Angela Merkel's line on the latest Syrian crisis is a smart compromise between domestic stability and loyalty to the U.S.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 10, 2018
Europe must learn to work with its autocrats
Hungary's Viktor Orban may have pushed the boundaries of the acceptable, but he's at home in some mainstream European parties
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 26, 2018
Time for a tech revolution
Only business models respecting privacy can save us from our digital predicament.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 22, 2018
Ask voters if they want more driverless cars
The ugly optics of the Uber self-driving car accident in Tempe highlight bigger ethical problems with the technology.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 20, 2018
Putin's hawks got the result they wanted
With Russian strongman's re-election, West must brace itself for an extended period with a tough, hostile opponent.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 19, 2018
Stephen Hawking and the unconstrained mind
The British physicist's work may have been esoteric, but his life helped shape how we see the world.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 10, 2018
Why Germany's anthem won't be gender-neutral
Austria and Canada did it. But Germany has a different set of challenges to deal with.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 6, 2018
Italy's election was actually quite traditional
The nation's voters favor weak central governments for a reason.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 4, 2018
Putin wants modern weapons, not a modern Russia
The Russian president's key speech last week was full of unfunded promises and thinly veiled threats.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 1, 2018
Journalist murders are a major EU problem
Clearly not all European Union members are enforcing the bloc's stated values.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 13, 2018
North Korean charm sure beats the alternative
Engaging with Pyongyang may encourage the regime down the path of liberalization.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 10, 2018
Undead rock stars shouldn't play stadiums
Tech entrepreneurs and deceased musicians' estates should allow rock stars to rest in peace.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 16, 2018
Facebook's new mission may be impossible
Mark Zuckerberg's company is imitating Snap in trying to focus on interactions with 'friends and family.' But can the media genie be bottled up again?
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 15, 2018
Trump finds a new way to squander U.S. soft power
U.S. global leadership depends on winning over immigrants from far and wide.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 9, 2018
Putin is 'un-Wolffable,' and that's no compliment
Americans have it good. Here's a mental exercise: Try to imagine the 'Wolffing' of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 8, 2018
No, Iceland hasn't solved the gender pay gap
Gender stereotypes are the real problem, and there's only one way to start fixing it.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 18, 2017
Why we don't need to fear the net neutrality repeal
After net neutrality ends, ISPs are unlikely to do anything that riles consumers.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 2, 2017
Invest in bitcoin, even if it's a bubble
Uber, Tesla, Snap, bitcoin may have inflated valuations, but their tide lifts many better boats.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 7, 2017
Europe is tiring of Anglo-American lectures
Following Brexit and Trump, the Anglo-Saxon world's intellectual leadership is on the wane in Europe.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 21, 2017
Electric carmakers have an Africa problem
Volkswagen's recent failure to lock in the price of cobalt for five years points to a serious problem with the optimistic projections of an electric vehicle revolution.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan