Jul 20, 2018

Use yearend tax to cut tobacco consumption

The news that Philip Morris Japan is raising cigarette prices on Oct. 1, the same day the tobacco tax will go up, reminds us of the importance of reducing tobacco consumption. Nowadays, as the harmful effects of smoking not only for smokers but also ...

Jul 20, 2018

It's amateur hour for Trump, again

Donald Trump's European trip was a fiasco at best, a disgrace at worst, and only he, being so consistently clueless, could have stumbled through it so fecklessly. Surely nobody else could have as effortlessly ruined a chance to mend fences with allies and take ...

Jul 20, 2018

LDP parties amid disastrous rain

Reading a media report that leading figures of the LDP held a party on the night of record rains and disaster warnings in western Japan, I couldn't help but feel that the LDP upper echelon's grip on reality always differs from that of the ...

Jul 20, 2018

Brexit: Short-term electoral sophistry

You are right to draw attention to the startling lack of sympathy afforded by the British government to international businesses in their Brexit negotiations (in the editorial "Brexit continues to stump Britain" in the July 16 edition). Their approach is fueled to a large extent ...

Jul 13, 2018

Aegis Ashore a foolish waste of money

The Defense Ministry wants to buy two Aegis Ashore missile batteries from the United States and place one in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and one in Akita Prefecture's capital, which has about 300,000 residents ("Japan to buy advanced U.S. missile-defense radar" in the July 2 ...

Jul 13, 2018

Teachers and students lose while companies rake in profit

Regarding the story "Fukuoka 'guest teachers' outstay their welcome" in the July 5 edition, the vicious cycle of outsourcing teaching jobs ultimately leads to everyone losing except the companies that win government bids. The teachers have poor job security while their students will be ...

Jul 13, 2018

EU should mind its own business on capital punishment

As a European, I am writing to apologize to the people of Japan for our arrogant and embarrassing habit of interfering in the internal affairs of your country. Regarding the recent executions of the convicted perpetrators of the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subways, ...

Jul 6, 2018

Use AI to predict crime? Start in Nagatacho

Reading about Singular Perturbations Inc., Mami Kajita's data analysis company ("Japan explores using AI system to predict crime" in the June 25 edition), gave me a chuckle. Can it be done? I wondered. Is it possible to deal with street crime by predicting where it ...

Jul 6, 2018

Discrimination against ALTs

John G. Russell's June 4 opinion piece "Face the reality of racism in Japan" warrants consideration. Despite seeming so minimal that legal action to combat racial discrimination in Japan is seen to be unnecessary, the government's inaction in addressing the issue contradicts the United Nations ...

Jul 6, 2018

Kudos from afar for Blue Samurai

I, like so many around the world, have been enjoying this year's World Cup in Russia. As my national team (Scotland) was not competing I am a neutral, and as many neutrals do, I picked a team to follow and support. The team I ...

Jul 6, 2018

Remembering little Yua

I was so shocked to read about the death of 5-year-old Yua Funato and the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her stepfather and mother. Her plea for forgiveness from her parents is so touching and invites tears. She wrote: "Please forgive me, ...

Jun 29, 2018

Depopulation needs a sober, serious response

In his opinion piece "Reversing Japan's demographic nosedive" in the June 20 edition, Ichiro Asahina says he was shocked by the latest Japanese demographic forecasts. Why be shocked by an inevitable prospect? Unlike those who earn their living by armchair theorizing, I have long been ...