Oct 13, 2017

Smartphones and the end of conversation

It was a sticky hot summer's night in Tokyo. The last time I was here was 10 years ago. I was now lost in Shibamata in search of an apartment we had rented. All the train riders exiting the small station were looking at ...

Oct 13, 2017

Japan needs strong center-left party

Seeing the election platform of the nascent political party Kibo no To (Party of Hope), I got a weird feeling. It is no exaggeration to say that its election pledges are hard to tell apart from that of the Liberal Democratic Party. It seems Yuriko ...

Oct 13, 2017

Demographics sour, not sweet

All due respect to Jesper Koll in his opinion piece in the Oct. 2 edition ("Japan's demographic sweet spot"), but I found that his logic and evidence fail in substantiating his claim that Japan's demographics are in a "sweet spot." Essentially, he argued the graying ...

Oct 13, 2017

Let non-Japanese taxpayers vote

I am a Dane who has lived in Japan for many years, read The Japan Times, pay my taxes, obey the law and am still considered unworthy to vote. It irks me that Yuriko Koike, who at first appeared so promising, didn't find it necessary ...

Oct 6, 2017

Stamp out maternity harassment

It's bad that there has to be an organization about maternity harassment. Matahara, as it is known in Japan, is the abuse — both mental and physical — of pregnant and post-pregnant women in the workforce. This organization is called Matahara Net and began with ...

Oct 6, 2017

Hagerty's remarks on Trump-Abe 'grossly improper'

Regarding the story "Trump-Abe ties to shape stay in Tokyo: Hagerty" in the Sept. 30 edition, U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty's remarks were grossly improper. They represent, during the run-up to an election, an implicit message to Japanese voters to support Shinzo Abe and the ...

Oct 6, 2017

Koike picks right name for her party

The Party of Hope is aptly named. Yuriko Koike is hoping the Tokyo voters have a very short memory of all of the many promises that she would spend 100 percent of her time working for Tokyo. She is hoping that Tokyo voters do not ...

Oct 6, 2017

Turn on your car headlights, please

Regarding "Police caution drivers over risk of fatal accidents at dusk" in the Sept. 15 edition, I have always been puzzled as to why Japanese road users, even in the worst weather conditions, habitually drive without using their headlights. On the nightly NHK news, showing ...

Oct 6, 2017

Tanabe tourism office doing great

I read the article concerning criticism of the Tanabe tourist office ("Blame for 'bad tourists' to Japan lies with the advice they never receive," Aug. 28). My wife and I walked some of the Nakahechi track in 2011. Before we left Australia we had a ...

Sep 29, 2017

Election a waste of taxpayer money

As a long time Japanese tax payer, but of course without representation, I wonder why there is little noise from the general population about the election being called by the Abe administration, which will cost the country billions of yen in taxpayer money. Shinzo Abe's ...

Sep 29, 2017

Defending Abe administration

I was puzzled by Jeff Kingston's column in the Sept. 17 edition. I will focus on a few points to explain why. The conclusion of a peace treaty with Russia is one of the diplomatic priorities for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. President Vladimir Putin's visit ...