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David McNeill

David McNeill is a Tokyo-based writer from Ireland. He writes for several international publications and teaches political science at Sophia University. His new co-authored book is “Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.”

For David McNeill's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Jun 12, 2007

Media scream 'yellow peril'

Days after the broken body of British teacher Lindsay Hawker was discovered in a fourth-floor flat in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, when the media feeding frenzy was at its most intense, a newspaper editor called me from London. "Are there any new developments in the case?" ...

Japan refutes 'marine Darth Vader' charges

May 30, 2007

Japan refutes 'marine Darth Vader' charges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Transformed by oil money from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and boasting probably more gas-guzzling SUVs per person than any other American city, on a bad day Anchorage can resemble a giant foggy parking lot. But it is also surrounded by some of the most ...

'Killing people won't cut crime; there's no data to prove this'

Apr 8, 2007

'Killing people won't cut crime; there's no data to prove this'

The gallows, like much of the rest of Japan's prison system, are shrouded in thick veils of government secrecy. Executions are timed to coincide with Diet [parliamentary] recesses to avoid protests from opposition lawmakers; prison guards are forbidden from discussing their work; and few ordinary ...

Japan's way of judicial killing

Apr 8, 2007

Japan's way of judicial killing

Japan's application of the death penalty is cruel, secretive and out of step with much of the developed world, say its opponents. As a record 102 inmates now wait on death row for the hangman's noose, in this JT review of the capital-punishment system, ...

One who has lived to tell the tale

Apr 8, 2007

One who has lived to tell the tale

When his body isn't groaning under the weight of its 81 years, and the sun is shining in the skies over his native Kyushu, Sakae Menda sometimes forgets the ordeal he suffered and knows he is lucky to be alive. But most days, there is ...

The Samurai Dolphin Man

Feb 21, 2007

The Samurai Dolphin Man

Ric O'Barry is one of the world's best-known environmentalists. A former U.S. Navy diver, he later trained the five dolphins that played Flipper in the hit 1960s TV series of that name, before turning against dolphin captivity in 1970. Now aged 67, O'Barry ...

Resentments sustain a moribund meat trade

Feb 11, 2007

Resentments sustain a moribund meat trade

Many environmentalists around the world hope that the whaling issue in Japan will simply fade with the now moribund industry. In Japan, though, the political prowhaling lobby has never been stronger. Japan's domestic campaign is backed by the 98-strong Parliamentary Whaling League (PWL), whose members ...

/ Feb 11, 2007

Vitriol vies with science

For journalists used to the smooth diplomatic hum of the global conference circuit, covering the poisonous annual meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is akin to being slapped in the face with a slab of week-old minke bacon. Government representatives from across the ...

The price of stalemate

/ Feb 11, 2007

The price of stalemate

One of the most controversial elements of Japan's campaign to overturn the International Whaling Commission's 1986 commercial whaling ban is the alleged use of official Overseas Development Aid to "buy" the votes of poorer IWC member-countries. That is an allegation vehemently denied by fisheries ...