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Gearoid Reidy
For Gearoid Reidy's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
In Hokkaido’s Niseko ski resort area, a bowl of ramen or soba from a food truck easily goes for more than three times what it costs at a sit-down joint in Tokyo.
COMMENTARY
Feb 18, 2024
¥3,800 ski-slope ramen is a glimpse of Japan’s future
Foreign tourist spending has potential to stimulate growth but needs careful management to ensure equitable distribution of benefits for locals.
Telecoms giant KDDI plans with Mitsubishi to take convenience store operator Lawson private could help it as it currently stands behind FamilyMart and Seven & I Holdings in a three-horse race.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 14, 2024
There are clouds on the horizon in Japan’s 'conbini-land'
Industry consolidation has pushed minor players out of the conbini game.
While in recent years Donald Trump is better known for his trade war with China, the former president has a long history of Japan-bashing and should be taken at his word on the U.S. Steel purchase by Nippon Steel.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 9, 2024
Trump is wrong to oppose Nippon Steel deal
"I would block it instantaneously. Absolutely,” Trump said of Nippon Steel’s bid, and he should be taken seriously and literally.
Taylor Swift kicked off her four-night stint at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday while Lionel Messi played at the Japan National Stadium, just a few kilometers away.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 9, 2024
The Taylor Swift and Messi moment shows Tokyo is back
On Wednesday, Swift and Messi wowed their respective fans, just 5 km away from each other. Their overlap in Tokyo is proof of the city's great resurgence.
The victory of Ukraine-born Karolina Shiino (center) in the Miss Japan contest held last month has sparked a debate on what makes someone truly Japanese.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 1, 2024
A Ukraine-born beauty queen and what it means to be Japanese
Shiino's Miss Japan victory has ignited a debate on the definition of "Japaneseness," and raises questions on what it truly means to be Japanese.
BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda at a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 23. In it, he delivered a consistent message about the bank's intentions moving forward.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 29, 2024
BOJ's Ueda finds his mojo as rate message cuts through
After some growing pains, BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda finally delivers a clear message on the bank's intentions. He should keep at it.
American President Joe Biden hugs Brittany Alkonis after giving a State of the Union in February. The wife of jailed U.S. sailor Lt. Ridge Alkonis ran a successful pressure campaign to get her husband released from a Japanese prison into American custody. 
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 24, 2024
Japan owes no apology for U.S. Navy officer’s treatment
The case of Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis is a divisive one, which both the U.S. and Japanese governments have tried to keep quiet about.
A signboard in Tokyo shows the closing numbers on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Jan. 11. Tokyo's Nikkei index closed above 35,000 for the first time in nearly 34 years on that day.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 18, 2024
Japan can guilt-trip its stocks past bubble-era highs
Tokyo’s equity market is achingly close to overcoming its bubble-era highs.
Takashimaya's managing director, Kazuhisa Yokoyama, holds a news conference on Dec. 27 in Tokyo to address the issue of damaged Christmas cakes that were delivered to hundreds of customers.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 16, 2024
Collapsed cakes and the price of perfection in Japan
As its labor crunch worsens, Japan might see more cases of skimping or slipshod quality.
The Horizon IT system, built by a U.K. company Fujitsu acquired in the 1990s, resulted in hundreds of post office managers in the U.K. being wrongly convicted for theft and false accounting between 1999 and 2005.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 15, 2024
Fujitsu’s silence is making a tech scandal worse
Top-level executives at Fujitsu have so far stayed mum about the firm's involvement in the U.K. Post Office scandal, letting public outrage shape the narrative, unimpeded.
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, arrives for a news conference at the Tungaloy Corp.'s headquarters in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, in November of 2011.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 5, 2024
Warren Buffett brought Japan back. Will it last in 2024?
In 2023, Japan experienced an unexpected surge in investor interest, leading to the Nikkei 225 index reaching highs not seen since 1990.
Firefighters inspect earthquake-damaged houses in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 3, 2024
Heed the warning of Japan’s New Year's Day earthquake
That so few deaths happened in Japan's Noto region, even in areas with the most severe shaking, isn’t down to luck.
From movies, anime, manga and even to sports stars, 2023 was a year where global audiences demonstrated their increasing fondness for Japanese soft power.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 27, 2023
From Godzilla to Shohei: Japan's soft power had a big year
Little by little, Japan is getting better at pitching its copious wares overseas, and 2023 proved that.
A Mainichi poll this week gave Fumio Kishida's Cabinet a nearly 80% disapproval rate, the worst result since the newspaper began surveying in 1947.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 21, 2023
No, seriously, this is one Japan scandal that’s important
With no clear rival, and potential challengers likely reluctant to take their shot with support so low, Kishida may yet hang on in the near term.
Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda, who took office in April, has been considered a skeptic of negative interest rates.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 17, 2023
One small step for BOJ. One giant leap for the yen.
Japan can hold off on undoing negative interest rates
An event is held in Osaka on Nov. 30 to mark 500 days until the opening of Expo 2025.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 15, 2023
Why should any city want to host a world expo?
The projected budget for the 2025 Osaka Expo has nearly doubled and netizens and opposition politicians are calling for a cancellation.
Then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at Graceland, a mansion once owned by Elvis Presley, in Memphis, Tennessee, in June 2006. Koizumi was dubbed the "jujitsu prime minister” for his style of politics.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 11, 2023
Japan needs a 'jujitsu PM' to grapple with this scandal
Kishida fights for survival as the political funding scandal deepens. His predecessor, "jujitsu PM” Junichiro Koizumi, could teach him a thing or two.
Godzilla is presented with a certificate after being selected for Hollywood's Walk of Fame during a news conference in Tokyo in October 2004.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 6, 2023
New 'Godzilla' flick deftly tackles postwar Japan in cinematic triumph
Godzilla strikes again: New 'Minus One' movie is a visual spectacle that challenges Hollywood's big budget norms.
Buyouts by management and controlling parties have surged this year in Japan, with the total value now set to pass ¥1 trillion.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 3, 2023
Being a listed company in Japan is losing its luster
Japan's corporate landscape is shifting as companies opt for management buyouts.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's approval ratings have dropped significantly with his economic stimulus package being met with disapproval.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Nov 7, 2023
Kishida is so unpopular, he can't even give money away
Kishida has seen his popularity plummet as his tax rebate leaves residents with the impression that it’s just a cynical ploy to win votes.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation