Sam Dagher
For Sam Dagher's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington in March 11.
WORLD / Politics / FOCUS
May 11, 2024
U.S. spy chief becomes key envoy as Biden-Netanyahu ties fray
CIA Director William Burns is quietly keeping Washington’s lines of communication open across the Middle East.
The arrests for Gaza-related posts indicate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regime will take a hard line against citizens not toeing the line when it comes to normalizing ties with Israel.
WORLD / Politics
May 2, 2024
Saudi Arabia steps up Gaza-related arrests as Israel ties edge closer
The arrests are said to reflect a desire by authorities to deter the making of online statements about the war in Gaza that might impact national security.
A member of the aircrew aboard a Jordanian Air Force C-130 during a humanitarian aid drop over the northern Gaza Strip, on Monday
WORLD / Politics / FOCUS
Apr 17, 2024
Iran’s conflict with Israel puts U.S. ally Jordan on edge
Iran's direct attack on Israel, and a potential retaliation, has put Western and Gulf state ally Jordan in a precarious position.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (left) speak with relatives of hostages taken by Hamas during the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in Washington on Jan. 17. Gillibrand was one of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's guests at discussions that took place in earlier this month.
WORLD / Politics
Jan 31, 2024
Saudis resume U.S. defense talks after pause from Gaza war
Crown prince met U.S. senators for the revival of talks of a pact that would have included a tie-up with Israel.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason steams through the Atlantic Ocean. Tehran's dispatch of a warship to the Red Sea takes the projection of Iranian power in the region to another level but it is unlikely to want direct confrontation — its old frigate is no match for the U.S.-led maritime task force patrolling the waters off Yemen.
WORLD / Politics
Jan 3, 2024
Iran’s Red Sea power play raises fears of trade disruption
Tehran's dispatch of a warship to the region emboldens Yemen's Houthis, who are attacking vessels headed to or owned by firms in Israel.
Fake oranges filled with captagon pills, intercepted by the customs and the anti-drug brigade at Beirut port, Lebanon, in 2021.
WORLD / Crime & Legal
Aug 18, 2023
‘Poor man’s cocaine’ costing $3 a pill threatens to proliferate
Selling for around $3 to $25 per tablet, experts say captagon is primarily produced and trafficked by groups tied to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Japan Times
Jun 6, 2023
War of words that rocked U.S.-Saudi ties cools as oil steadies
The Biden administration has expressed eagerness to repair ties with Riyadh, once one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East.
Japan Times
Apr 9, 2023
Saudi Arabia’s drive to get expats to ditch Dubai is off to a rocky start
The big question is whether Riyadh is ready from an infrastructure, housing, lifestyle and even administrative standpoint for an influx of foreign white-collar workers and their families.


Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan