Topics

Sincere climate pledge or 'sleight of hand'?

| Jun 8, 2015

Sincere climate pledge or 'sleight of hand'?

by Eric Johnston

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet announced Japan would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030, based on 2013 levels. The plan will be presented to delegates at a United Nations conference on climate change in Paris this December. The ...

E-textbooks to open digital can of worms

| Jun 1, 2015

E-textbooks to open digital can of worms

by Shusuke Murai

As the world goes digital, many schools are trying to introduce digital materials into the classroom to encourage studying and meet the needs of students’ increasingly diverse needs. In May, the education ministry formed a panel to discuss the use of digital textbooks and ...

Change trays

| May 23, 2015

Change trays

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of handing your payment to the clerk, or setting it on the counter by the cash register, here you are generally expected to ...

Tokyo ramps up 'English village' plan as 2020 approaches

| May 11, 2015

Tokyo ramps up 'English village' plan as 2020 approaches

by Tomohiro Osaki

As Tokyo gears up to host the 2020 Olympic Games, demands for action are growing to overcome Japan’s notorious English-speaking phobia. To achieve that, discussions are underway for the capital to establish “English villages” — language education facilities aimed at improving students’ communication ability ...

18 looms as new age of majority

| May 4, 2015

18 looms as new age of majority

by Tomoko Otake

Japan’s youth will finally get a chance to have their voices heard in politics. Revisions to the Public Offices Election Law that would lower the minimum voting age to 18 from 20 are being deliberated in the Diet and are widely expected to be ...

| Apr 15, 2015

Is China-led bank a lost opportunity?

by Atsushi Kodera

China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is causing a stir as the majority of Group of 20 leading economies sign on as founding members, while the U.S. and Japan remain on the sidelines. This outcome for a Chinese initiative that challenges the U.S.-led global ...