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Gearoid Reidy
For Gearoid Reidy's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington on April 11.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 21, 2024
Kishida must wish he’d stayed in Washington
At home, Kishida’s polling numbers near record lows, he faces never-ending political scandals and a public that is weary of him.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (right), seen here meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has made strengthening ties with Tokyo one of his foreign policy priorities.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 15, 2024
A humbled Yoon must future-proof Seoul’s alliances
Despite Yoon Suk-yeol's weak grip on South Korea's government after his electoral defeat, he can still do a lot to ensure his foreign policy lives on.
D.B. Weiss, co-creator of the Netflix sci-fi drama series "3 Body Problem," is interviewed in Las Vegas, in January.  Some Chinese viewers have expressed disappointment with the adaptation's departure from the original source material.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 10, 2024
The ‘3-Body Problem’ of adapting content across borders
From anime to the latest Netflix blockbuster, changing material can be a controversial subject. How much modification is acceptable?
With the resignation of Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu, a major hurdle may have been removed in the construction of the maglev high-speed train, which is expected to connect Tokyo to Osaka in just over 60 minutes.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 5, 2024
Maglev train is back on track after Shizuoka governor's derailing
Shizuoka's governor was blocking the construction of Japan's maglev bullet train. Now that he has resigned, the project can finally move at full speed.
Shohei Ohtani's response, or lack thereof, to the gambling scandal sheds light on the cultural differences in crisis management between Japan and the West.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 2, 2024
Ohtani swings and misses at PR, but he’s not Japan’s first
Shohei Ohtani's response, or lack thereof, to a gambling scandal sheds light on the cultural differences in crisis management between Japan and the West.
BOJ Gov. Kazuo Ueda takes questions during a news conference. The bank's monetary policy overhaul announced last week was known by some Japanese media before it was made public.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 25, 2024
The BOJ has sprung a leak. Japan must investigate.
The bank's policy of disclosing information selectively to certain media is harmful and needs to be looked into, as slip-ups in other countries show.
Baseball player Shohei Ohtani poses with his Japanese interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara (right), and his agent, Nez Balelo, during a news conference after signing a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 22, 2024
Shohei Ohtani scandal raises the stakes on sports betting
The speed at which U.S. sports leagues have embraced betting put the Japanese star's fastball to shame.
Japanese automakers explore a unified approach and industry consolidation to stay competitive in the global EV market.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 19, 2024
As China’s EVs approach, Japan’s carmakers must step on the gas
China sees an opportunity to dominate, and just as it did with sectors from steel to solar panels, it’s unlikely to always play fair.
Two of the country’s four major makers of alcoholic beverages are reportedly going to stop releasing new products with alcohol content of 8% or more, citing health concerns.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 10, 2024
Japan asks when a stiff drink is a bit too stiff
Two of the country’s four major makers have taken the unusual step of retreating from a lucrative and growing market: strong premixed drinks.
Sony's move to cut costs and Microsoft's decision to release titles on rival platforms reflect uncertainty in the gaming industry.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 8, 2024
Looks like we're nearing peak PlayStation
The gaming industry as a whole is struggling with ballooning development costs and longer production cycles, leading to fewer and risk-averse titles.
Japan’s stock market is breaking records right when the government has launched an expanded tax-free investing account. But due to government regulations, stocks still remain out of reach for many starting investors. 
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 6, 2024
Everyone’s buying Japan shares. I only want to buy one.
An expanded tax-free investment account program that launched to much fanfare at the start of the year has come at a perfect time.
What is the BOJ hoping to achieve through tighter policy? The bank's governor, Kazuo Ueda, dissented in 2000, arguing then a hike was premature — and he was right. Why the change now.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 29, 2024
Selling a rate hike during recession is tough. Good luck, Ueda.
What sounded like a statement of the obvious by Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda last week — that a country where prices are rising by 2% is, in fact, experiencing inflation — has more to it than meets the eye.
Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada attends the red carpet event for FX's "Shogun" at the Academy theater in Los Angeles on Feb. 13.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 27, 2024
Disney’s ‘Shogun’ has a lot to teach the West
Walt Disney returns "Shogun" to the screen and reinvents an epic tale for a new generation.
The Nikkei 225 on Thursday broke through a record high set just before the country's asset bubble catastrophically burst in the early 1990s.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 23, 2024
Congratulations Nikkei, now don’t screw it up
Those skeptical of the current boom argue that this is nothing more than a another instance of a once-in-a-decade cycle.
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.

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