Counterterrorism and liberties on collision course

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Mar 12, 2016

Counterterrorism and liberties on collision course

The continuing standoff between Apple and the FBI over data stored on an iPhone that belonged to the alleged perpetrators of the San Bernadino terrorist attacks highlights the frictions between protecting civil liberties and maintaining security. The USA Patriot Act has drawn widespread condemnation ...

Japan's counterterrorism efforts falling short

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Mar 5, 2016

Japan's counterterrorism efforts falling short

The Foreign Ministry invited ridicule toward the end of 2015 after it advertised job openings for part-time counterterrorism analysts. While the expansion of the exploited precariat of non-regular workers to nearly 40 percent of the workforce is lamentable in itself, who would have thought ...

Does Tohoku's disaster tourism exploit or educate?

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Feb 27, 2016

Does Tohoku's disaster tourism exploit or educate?

Disaster tourism can be an unsettling descent into voyeurism as visitors ghoulishly gawk at, and photograph, those caught up in catastrophe as if they're at a petting zoo. The concept has prompted widespread condemnation of insensitive tourists and travel companies exploiting disasters as marketing ...

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Feb 20, 2016

1936 coup failed, but rebels killed Japan's 'Keynes'

This Friday marks the 80th anniversary of the February 26th Incident, a coup staged by young military officers who hoped to spark a general uprising, but whose revolt was quashed on the orders of Emperor Hirohito. The plotters were arrested and several were executed. Martial ...

Onagawa is on the rebound from devastation

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Feb 13, 2016

Onagawa is on the rebound from devastation

On March 11, 2011, the magnitude-9 Great East Japan Earthquake propelled a powerful tsunami through the port of Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, claiming 827 lives — nearly 10 percent of the town's population — and destroying 70 percent of all of its buildings. It was ...

Work-life balance in Japan leans in one direction

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Jan 30, 2016

Work-life balance in Japan leans in one direction

The concept of work-life balance is intrinsically appealing. People are so busy with work nowadays that they can't escape, tethered as they are to their jobs by smartphones. This situation generates stress and encroaches on private time with family and friends. Weekends? What weekends?! Thus ...

Asia is imperiled by COP21's climate cop-out

Commentary | COUNTERPOINT Jan 16, 2016

Asia is imperiled by COP21's climate cop-out

The nations of the world gathered at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) last month to come to an agreement on the urgent mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, all they produced was an attractive vision statement that is more sham than solution. It is ...