Politics and Economy

On silence of the electorate, voting and democracy in Japan
Author Satoshi Kamata recently wrote an article titled "Abe reveals true intentions after voting ends" for The Asahi Shimbun AJW.
Damian Flanagan
Satire not a strong point with Japanese
Recent tragic events in Paris have turned the world's gaze upon Islam and the cultural norms within the Islamic world. At the same time there has been a sharpening of attention to the mostly neglected backwater of satire.
Satoshi Kamata
Anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan faces a lengthy fight
Two square concrete buildings that resemble gigantic warehouses are fenced off from a local road where traffic flows.
Park Sooni
The day I embraced my heritage and hit the streets wearing a traditional Korean 'jeogori'
There is a photo decorating a nook in my room that was taken when I was about 1 year old. My brothers are wearing yellow and white Korean clothing and my mother is dressed in a pink traditional Korean "chima jeogori," but little me is wearing pink baby clothes.
Peter McGill
Japan faces multitude of challenges at 70th anniversary of the end of World War II
Watching German Chancellor Angela Merkel visit London and march with world leaders in Paris served as a reminder of the differences between Germany and Japan as the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches. Merkel visited an exhibition at the British Museum called “Germany: Memories of a Nation.” The Financial Times called the exhibition, which traces 600 years of German history, “a subtle tribute to the way her country has faced up to the most shameful episodes of its past.”
Narushige Michishita
In which direction is Kim Jong Un taking North Korea?
Three years have passed since Kim Jong Un became North Korea’s new leader. He could have spent these years mourning the death of his father--Kim Jong Il--based on Korean tradition, but he didn’t. Instead, the young Kim devoted his time to solidifying his political position and creating his personality cult.
Junko Oikawa
China pushes rule of law under Communist Party leadership
China marked its first National Constitution Day on Dec. 4, 2014 with President Xi Jinping emphasizing that "the Constitution is the fundamental law of the state." He added, "To maintain national governance based on law, first we must maintain national governance based on the Constitution."
Damian Flanagan
British writer will never forget surviving the Great Hanshin Earthquake
Jan. 17 marks exactly 20 years since the Kobe earthquake (aka Great Hanshin Earthquake), at the time the most devastating earthquake to have occurred in Japan since the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
Yoshiyuki Ogasawara
Ma's defeat in Taiwan and the China factor
Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party, known as the Kuomintang (KMT), suffered a stunning defeat in magistrate and mayoral elections held Nov. 29, 2014. The losses were particularly acute in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and other key cities.
Naoki Kato
Why the swarm of anti-Korean and anti-Chinese books at bookstores?
Bookshelves on "international relations" in leading Japanese stores are now crammed with titles that incite negativity, hostility and animosity toward Korea and China.
Akira Iriye
Japan needs to contribute to 'peace for all time'
The entire world was recently reminded of the preciousness of peace when Malala Yousafzai was named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Akira Iriye
Japan needs to contribute to 'peace for all time'
The entire world was recently reminded of the preciousness of peace when Malala Yousafzai was named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Erik Bleich
Japan needs a hate speech law now rather than 30 years in the future
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has rebuked Japan for its failure to pass and enforce laws against hate speech and racial discrimination. Although Japan's Supreme Court recently upheld a ruling against anti-Korean activists who engaged in hate speech, Japan lacks a well-established law that can be used to punish aggressive racist speech targeting vulnerable members of society. It needs one now.
Michiko Yoshii
Secret plan spurs young people's interest in Okinawa election
Just over half a year has passed since I became a resident of Okinawa Prefecture. In early November, as the Nov. 16 date approached for voting in Okinawa’s gubernatorial election where the biggest issue was the relocation of a U.S. military base to Henoko, I was at my wits’ end over what I could do other than cast my lone ballot. I then heard about a private high school in Naha that was planning a mock election.
Tomoko Ako
Detained Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang has a crucial voice and must be released
When I snapped a photo of lawyer Pu Zhiqiang against the backdrop of Mount Fuji, he was beaming. His smile does him credit.
Satoshi Kamata
Onaga's campaign much like an Okinawan declaration of independence
Takeshi Onaga, the former mayor of Naha who called for an “all-Okinawa” mobilization, won the prefecture’s gubernatorial election on Nov. 16, defeating incumbent Governor Hirokazu Nakaima by a wide margin of more than 100,000 votes.
Kazuko Uemura
INTERVIEW/ Kazuko Uemura: Worst thing is for politicians to ignore scourge of hate speech
Complaints and threats poured in after the Kunitachi municipal assembly in Tokyo adopted a statement on Sept. 19 calling on the Japanese government to enact a law banning hate speech that incites ethnic discrimination.
Satoshi Kamata
Discrimination lies behind 50 years of ignored innocence pleas in Sayama case
Around 3,000 people assembled for a public gathering on Oct. 31 at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall to seek a retrial in the Sayama case. In a march through the Ginza district toward Tokyo Station, they insisted that Kazuo Ishikawa, 75, was innocent.
Michiko Yoshii
Similarities come into focus in talk of nuclear plants, U.S. bases with ethnic minority in Vietnam
The first construction project for a nuclear power plant in Vietnam is proceeding in Ninh Thuan province, on the country's south-central coast.
Tomoko Ako
Rational, good-natured protests in Hong Kong a model for China
One month has passed since the start of the demonstrations and occupation movement in Hong Kong against Beijing's plan to reform the system for electing the chief executive of Hong Kong in three years' time.

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