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 Takamitsu Sawa

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Takamitsu Sawa
COMMENTARY
May 5, 2003
Rudderless world economy
From 1993 to 2001, the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton based its policies on the Democratic Party's platform of compassion toward the underprivileged and tolerance toward dissent. In the past, this ideology had prompted Democratic administrations to try to legislate an end to racial discrimination....
COMMENTARY
Mar 31, 2003
Folly of liberation by force
The Pentagon calls the U.S. military campaign in Iraq "Operation Iraqi Freedom." This is clearly intended to reflect U.S.-British justification of their attempt to overthrow the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and "liberate" Iraq without a United Nations resolution.
COMMENTARY
Mar 3, 2003
Rules of a premodern Japan
The Liberal Democratic Party has ruled Japan since 1955 -- except for a period of less than a year from August 1993. The name LDP may suggest modern Western ideologies of liberty and democracy, but it is doubtful that the party has been the guardian of these principles.
COMMENTARY
Feb 11, 2003
Sacrifices for material gain
In the 1980s, Japanese economists used to boast of their country's economic prowess and deride U.S. economic decline. To be sure, the U.S. manufacturing industry in those years fell into a miserable condition, and the nation suffered from ever-expanding trade and budget deficits. Yet things began changing...
COMMENTARY
Nov 12, 2002
The realistic path to reform
In the mid-1970s, Keynesianism came in for criticism in the world of economics, and neoclassical economics -- which sees the market as almighty -- became the mainstream theory. One underlying reason for this was the economic decline of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.
COMMENTARY
Sep 30, 2002
A theory that doesn't work
For the market economy to function effectively, equal opportunity must be guaranteed in all sectors of society. In today's Japan, however, there is no such guarantee. For example, the opportunity for a Japanese person to become a Diet member is far from equal, because many retiring Diet members have...
COMMENTARY
Aug 5, 2002
Virtues that bolster China
I traveled to China July 11-16 to deliver a lecture at a congress of econometrics at Jilin University. It was my first visit to China in three years.
COMMENTARY
Jul 8, 2002
Erosion of respect for sweat
Few doubt that the scholastic abilities of young Japanese, from grade school children to university students, have declined markedly. Some critics blame the problem on the system of "yutori kyoiku" ("relaxed education") introduced in Japanese public schools; others blame the nation's declining birthrate....
COMMENTARY
Jun 10, 2002
Peculiarities that give pause
More than a year after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi debuted under the "structural reform" slogan, its real meaning remains vague. The pivotal question is, what aspects of the Japanese structure (systems and practices) should be changed, and how?
COMMENTARY
May 13, 2002
Wider economic gaps ahead
The first decade of the 21st century is likely to be no less turbulent than the last decade of the 20th century. It is next to impossible to predict how the world will change in this coming decade, but one thing is certain: The world in 2010 will defy predictions based on today's knowledge.
COMMENTARY
Apr 8, 2002
A system to match the times
In 1998, then-Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi launched the Economic Strategy Council as his advisory group. The council, headed by Hirotaro Higuchi, honorary chairman of Asahi Breweries Ltd., came up with a package of policy proposals in its February 1999 final report. The report deserves praise for the...
COMMENTARY
Mar 4, 2002
Research needs cutting edge
Since Japan has already decided to reorganize national universities into public corporations in fiscal 2004, it would be useless now to discuss the pros and cons of the plan. I happen to feel the plan will do neither harm nor good.
COMMENTARY
Feb 4, 2002
Price of pure market reform
"Kozo kaikaku"(structural reform) is the buzzword these days. But it isn't clear exactly what it means. Yet it is the "clincher" in newspaper articles, economic journals and TV comments by economists. The common belief here is that structural reform is in and by itself good. It is held as an article...
COMMENTARY
Nov 13, 2001
Japan must make the grade
In the last decade of the 20th century, Japan lost many of the tangible and intangible assets it had built up since World War II. In particular, there was a serious deterioration in the quality of human resources. The second half of the 1990s saw a sharp decline in university students' scholastic performance...
COMMENTARY
Aug 6, 2001
Voodoo economics rule the day
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's oft-repeated slogan, "There will be no economic recovery without structural reforms," sounds familiar to most Japanese.
COMMENTARY
Jul 10, 2001
Breaking the Kyoto impasse
At the Japan-U.S. summit held June 30, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reportedly told President George W. Bush that to curb global warming it was important to respect the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol. Koizumi also said Japan and the United States should continue discussions on the issue.
COMMENTARY
Jun 4, 2001
Japan needs its own third way
Since it debuted a little over a month ago, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's administration has been trumpeting the slogan "No structural reform, no economic recovery." Whether that is true is arguable. But there is no question that "structural reform" means reshaping Japan's outdated market economy...
COMMENTARY
May 8, 2001
Bush could kill Kyoto treaty
U.S. President George W. Bush announced in late March that his administration did not support the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that requires industrialized countries to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a way to prevent global warming.
COMMENTARY
Apr 10, 2001
Reasons to thank Mr. Mori
Since he took office a year ago, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has seen his popularity nosedive as a result of a series of gaffes he committed. Now that he is set to resign in late April, let me review the role the Mori administration has played.
COMMENTARY
Mar 13, 2001
Postindustrial economy calls
In the 1980s, most Japanese economists were under the illusion that the American economy would continue to decline and that Japan would surpass America as the world's largest economy. In fact, the Japanese economy was reaching the apex of its prosperity while the U.S. economy, with its different systems...

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals