Kiroku Hanai

For Kiroku Hanai's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary Mar 23, 2009

Costly transfer to Guam

PARIS — It was welcome news for the struggling government of Prime Minister Taro Aso that the Obama administration has given Japan a high priority in its foreign policy agenda. In mid-February, Hillary Rodham Clinton chose Japan as the first country to visit as ...

Commentary Feb 23, 2009

Crisis hits the weak spots

The worst crisis in a century is eroding the Japanese economy as a growing number of "nonregular" workers lose their jobs. The unemployment rate in December reached 4.4 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from the previous month — the steepest increase ever. The labor ...

Commentary Jan 26, 2009

A return to common sense

Attention from all corners of the world is focused on Barack Obama, who was inaugurated as the first African- American president of the United States. As the sole superpower since the Cold War ended in 1989, America has often irritated other countries for choosing ...

Commentary Dec 22, 2008

Deal with the reparations

This month marks the 67th anniversary of Japan's declaration of war against the United States and Britain. This long span of time is one reason the Japanese people have grown oblivious to the lessons learned from defeat in war. A typical example of this oblivion ...

Commentary Nov 24, 2008

Tamp down the old ways

Sixty years ago on Nov. 12, 1948, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMT) handed down its verdict branding Japan an aggressor nation and leading to the execution of six military leaders and one politician for instigating the war. As if to ...

Commentary Oct 27, 2008

Noisy assaults on living

A bitter schism was created in the city of Yokosuka between those supporting and those opposing the stationing of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington at the U.S. naval base there. Calm was restored, however, when the ship actually entered port Sept. 25. While the ...

Commentary Sep 22, 2008

The road to Yasukuni's survival

On Aug. 15, Japanese newspapers carried the obituary of an American citizen by the name of William Kenneth Bunce, who died in Chestertown, Md., at the age of 100. The article said that immediately after Japan's surrender in World War II (1945), Bunce headed the ...

Commentary Aug 25, 2008

Nonnuclear high ground

This month, as in previous years, newspapers and television programs in Japan were filled with stories about the Pacific War to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan's surrender. In particular, the Peace Memorial Ceremony held in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, ...

Commentary Jul 28, 2008

Injustice of labor shortages

One of America's virtues is its willingness to dispense candid advice even to its closest ally in the name of justice and humanitarianism. One good example is in recent comments by Dr. Mark P. Lagon, director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor ...

Commentary Jun 23, 2008

Flattop can forget about a haven from controversy

A dispute over whether to accept a plan to let the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington use Yokosuka as its home port seemed to have been settled when the municipal assembly rejected a proposal to hold a referendum on the subject. But uneasiness and ...