For Didier LAURAS's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
People attend a vigil in memory of the victims of a shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine, on Saturday.
WORLD / Politics
Apr 2, 2024
Russian conflicts with Islamists key to Moscow attack, analysts say
Russia's conflicts with Islamist forces over half a century are key to understanding the likely motives behind concert hall attack.
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a news conference at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday after signing a bilateral security agreement.
WORLD / Politics / FOCUS
Feb 17, 2024
Bilateral accords offer Ukraine a way to shore up security
New agreements with Germany and France deal with both current military support for Ukraine and its future defense against Russia.
Israeli soldiers in central Gaza on Jan. 8, during an escorted press tour by the military
WORLD / Politics
Feb 7, 2024
Hamas twin power structure complicates Gaza truce talks
Differences of opinion between Haniyeh and Sinwar could put both leaders to the test.
A newly released prisoner (right) hugs a relative during a welcome ceremony following the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for Israeli hostages held in Gaza by Hamas since the Oct. 7 attacks, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
WORLD / Politics
Nov 30, 2023
Mediators race to extend Israel-Hamas truce ahead of expiry
The six-day halt to fighting ends on Thursday morning local time, with a last hostages freed from Gaza overnight in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
Flames and smoke billow from explosions during Israeli strikes in Gaza on Monday.
Oct 10, 2023
Expected ground assault on Gaza set to be long, bleak and deadly
Urban fighting would involve hand-to-hand combat, reduced visibility, increased risk of traps and blurred boundaries between civilians and soldiers.
Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the command post of an operational-tactical group in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday.
WORLD / Politics / FOCUS
Sep 5, 2023
Allies question Ukraine's war strategy, irritating Kyiv
Over the past two weeks U.S. media have been quoting anonymous military sources questioning Ukraine's strategy. On the record, criticism remains muted.
A Dutch F-16 fighter jet. Although the jets will bring new capabilities to Ukraine's war effort, they also increase the complexity of managing a conflict where aviation has yet to take center stage in battles.
WORLD / Politics
Aug 23, 2023
F-16s: A victory and new challenge for war-torn Ukraine
Even though the jets bring new capabilities, they also increase the complexity of managing a conflict where aviation has yet to take center stage.
Japan Times
Jan 5, 2023
Deadly Ukraine strike reveals Russian tech weakness
While lax mobile phone habits have been blamed for the Makiivka deaths — soldiers may have been texting their loved ones for New Year's.
Japan Times
Dec 7, 2022
Ukrainian strikes on Russian bases score symbolic win
Kyiv has yet to claim responsibility, but experts believe Ukraine used Soviet-era drones from the 1970s, possibly modified to carry weapons.


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