Afghan's election quagmire

Allegations of vote fraud in the second round of Afghanistan's presidential election threaten to hobble the Kabul government as the Taliban step up their attacks.

Abe pushing Beijing, Seoul together

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should realize that his historical revisionism and his new initiative in defense policy are further straining Japan's ties with its two closest neighbors.

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Reducing overwork-related deaths

A new law that requires the central government to prevent deaths from overwork fails to describe precisely how that is done. Nor does it provide penalties for businesses that subject ...

Jul 7, 2014

Getting multiple tax rates to fly

The ruling coalition parties are trying to decide whether to introduce a reduced consumption tax on some daily necessities when the current 8 percent rate rises to 10 percent in October 2015.

Jul 5, 2014

A new map for the Middle East

The military advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant have eroded the fragile equilibrium that held Iraq together, and may spur the Kurds to declare their own long-sought state of Kurdistan.

Jul 4, 2014

Interrogation recordings pinched

The scope of crimes in which a special justice advisory panel has recommended electronically recording the entire interrogation process for suspects appears too limited.

Jul 4, 2014

Watch progress on abduction issue

The government needs to watch North Korea to ensure that it follows through on a pledge to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korean agents, now that Japan has decided to lift some economic sanctions on the country.

Jul 3, 2014

Mixed picture for the economy

Although large manufacturers appear more optimistic about the course of the Japanese economy in the months ahead, the latest Tankan survey and other economic data show signs that growth could be hampered.

Jul 3, 2014

Questions about nuclear safety

Even as opinion polls indicate that most people would like to see Japan shed its dependence on nuclear power, the Abe administration appears to be trying to turn the clock back to before 2011.

Jul 2, 2014

Abe guts Article 9

With its Cabinet decision to allow Japan to exercise collective self-defense, the Abe administration has effectively gutted Article 9.

Jul 1, 2014

Say no to plea bargaining

The biggest problem with plea bargaining, which a special legislative panel has recommended introducing into Japan's criminal investigative process, is the possibility that a suspect will make false confessions for a lesser punishment or wrongly implicate a person who has nothing to do with ...

Jul 1, 2014

Weak response to sexist taunts

The way in which the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly's effectively closed the book on the sexist jeering of a female assembly member during a plenary session raises doubts as to whether the assembly takes sexual harassment seriously.

Jun 30, 2014

The new squeeze on Argentina

Hopefully Argentina and the creditors who've held out on agreeing to a decade-old deal to restructure Argentine debt will redouble efforts to reach a settlement in the next month before a real default occurs.

Jun 29, 2014

Rushing on collective self-defense

The Abe administration may adopt a Cabinet decision as early as this week to change the government's long-standing interpretation of the Constitution so that Japan can participate in "collective self-defense." Opinions from the public do not seem welcome.

Jun 28, 2014

Hong Kong's democratic 'farce'

The prospect of a clash between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland has become more real in recent weeks as Hong Kong residents participate in a poll on how to select their top leader. Although it is not legally binding, the ballot has angered ...