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Kazuo Ogoura

For Kazuo Ogoura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary Aug 20, 2012

Tokyo's determined bid for the 2020 Olympics

Tokyo's "Candidate City" bid for the 2020 Olympic Games was officially recognized in May by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), and it looks quite natural in view of Tokyo's reputation as a safe, clean and culturally rich megalopolis. Indeed, it is rare to find among ...

Commentary Nov 18, 2011

Partnership in the Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Hawaii underscored once again the importance of wide-ranging cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. This concept of cooperation was first advocated by Japan and Australia several decades ago. The reasons behind the two countries' initiatives were rather complicated. Japan ...

Commentary Aug 16, 2011

The Song of Chu and Japanese politics today

"Song of Chu all around" (si-mian-Chu-ge) is an old Chinese saying that means "being besieged or deserted on all sides." The story has it that the King of Chu holed up in a castle of Gaixai in the final round of the war with the ...

Commentary Jun 14, 2011

Japan gropes for leadership

Japan, as well as the Japanese, are fighting and struggling. They are running against the wind of the rising yen-dollar exchange rate, which tends to affect exports. And the economy struggles in the almost bottomless pit of government deficits, which are likely to worsen ...

Commentary Apr 8, 2011

Politics of crisis leadership

The mega-crisis engendered in Japan by the great earthquake and tsunami has brought to the surface the political problem of Japanese crisis management. One aspect of the difficulties for political management in the aftermath of the mega-crisis was the relationship between the government authority ...

Commentary Feb 25, 2011

Deciphering Russian aims

The Russian prime minister's surprise visit to the Northern Territories and subsequent Russian hard position on the territorial issue have triggered a series of reactions in Japan, which in turn have hardened the Russian position and thereby spoiled Japan-Russia relations. Some observers might regard this ...

Commentary Oct 7, 2010

Depth of the Japan-China rift

The row between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands is, on the surface, a territorial issue. The root of the rift, however, is much deeper and wider. In the Japanese view, the incident that developed into a serious political issue between the two ...

Commentary Sep 6, 2010

The Australian 'distance'

"Beauty of Distance" is the title of this year's Sydney Biennale of modern arts. The title is obviously an echo and ironic association with the famous book written about Australia titled "Tyranny of Distance," which depicted the dilemma of Australia associating mentally with Europe ...

Commentary Jun 13, 2010

Japan-U.S. relations cry out for new management, dialogue

Ripples, frictions, uneasiness, concern and even dismay — these are the words by which most of the Japanese mass-media commentaries characterize present Japan-U.S. relations. Behind this phenomenon lies the impact from several issues. The problem of bases in Okinawa, particularly the so-called Futenma air base ...

Commentary Apr 14, 2010

Whither goes Chinese identity?

The former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, is now called the minister mentor. He is indeed a great mentor to Singapore, as it is he who has led the nation to become one of the most affluent and most stable, disciplined societies ...