As Japan moves toward Society 5.0, there is a need for a much more transparent accounting of the possible downsides surrounding this transition, and further consideration of how some of the risks can be minimized.
For Christopher Hobson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
History shows us that democracy has survived crises far greater than the present moment.
The experience of the Bush years suggests that the institutions of U.S. democracy are not necessarily strong enough to prevent dangerous and reckless decisions being made. This does not bode well for a Trump presidency.
Simply rejecting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies on defense and nuclear power is not sufficient. The opposition must formulate viable alternatives and advance different visions of Japan's future.
If Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's concern is with strengthening the position of Japan, why he has made so little progress on economics reforms?
The history of the U.S. and other Western democracies since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 has been a depressing tale of massive over-reactions to a very limited threat.
Questioning the use of force by the U.S. and its allies in response to the crisis in Iraq and Syria does not mean we should sit idly by as innocents continue to be killed and abused.
Tepco's task of regaining the trust of Japan's public will be just as difficult as resolving the technical challenges in the decades-long work of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
In March 2011 all of Japan was united by the terrible experience of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. Three years later this unity is increasingly fracturing as a more uneven reality emerges.
Contrasting the International Atomic Energy Agency's findings with the reality in Fukushima, one is left wondering whether the IAEA mission got lost in a Potemkin village during their trip.