Michael Hassett

As a Mensan who has an interest in everything numerical, Michael Hassett enjoys examining how numbers are produced and interpreted to indicate societal norms and influence public perception. He arrived in Japan in 1990 and has been an occasional contributor to The Japan Times since 2007.

For Michael Hassett's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Jun 10, 2008

Where did all the babies go?

Last Wednesday, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that Japan's total fertility rate (TFR) — the average number of babies born to women during their reproductive years — rose slightly to 1.34 for 2007, even though about 3,000 fewer children were born ...

U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?

| Feb 26, 2008

U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?

On Friday night, Aug. 18, 2006, at a third-story apartment within a gated community outside Atlanta, Ga., 31-year-old Kendrick Ledet sat contemplating life. And death. Ledet was familiar with various forms of high-tech weaponry — particularly the semi-automatic M-16 rifle — but on this day ...

Weak yen will trump prints row for tourists

| Jan 22, 2008

Weak yen will trump prints row for tourists

Online letters of protest were filled out. A group of nearly 70 civic organizations from around the world delivered a formal letter of disapproval to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama. Protesters gathered outside the Justice Ministry and thrust an inflated 3-meter-high yellow hand with an ...

Seeking a life in balance

| Jan 1, 2008

Seeking a life in balance

A task force set out earlier this year to bring more balance to the the grueling lifestyles that have become engrained in Japanese society over the past century. In November, a set of employment guidelines were formally adopted by the government. The traditional lifestyle in ...

Watching them watching us

| Nov 20, 2007

Watching them watching us

A s many non-Japanese are well aware, today is "G Day," or "F Day," or whatever cute name you'd like to assign to it: The day that the government begins fingerprinting virtually all foreigners — or "gaijin," or more appropriately "gaikokujin" — entering Japan. ...