From left: Chinese President Xi Jinping; Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party; and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ points to China-Taiwan rapprochement
Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a historic handshake with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on Nov. 7, the 98th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs) and other groups stage a demonstration outside Shibuya Station on Oct. 18, about a month after the national security legislation passed the Diet. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: In praise of a society where you can speak out and say 'no'
“I want to be sent to the front lines soon and fight,” a patient was quoted as saying to an Imperial Japanese Army surgeon who served in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Women activists planned to distribute anti-groping stickers on buses and subway trains. (Provided by a supporter of the activists)
INSIGHT: Despite repression, women's rights taking shape in China
BEIJING--Women's rights activist Wang Man was sitting and reading a scholarly book on psychology as she waited to meet me in this Chinese capital.
A monument inscribed with a poem written by Hisa Iwami, under her pen name, Hisako, stands by the side of a folk heritage museum in Tanohata, Iwate Prefecture. (Toshihide Ueda)
INSIGHT: Fukushima disaster keeps 100,000 from descending on 'sweet home'
TANOHATA, Iwate Prefecture--Anti-nuclear campaigner Hisa Iwami, who worked as a public health nurse in this northeastern village, died on Sept. 19. She was 97.
Tu Youyou in her apartment in Beijing (AP Photo)
INSIGHT: Should honor of Nobel Prize go to nation or individual recipient?
BEIJING--After Chinese researcher Tu Youyou was named a co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, one may well expect the country's scientific community to be enraptured.
Investigators examine Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, a day after the deadly explosion on Aug. 17. (Ryosuke Ono)
INSIGHT: Thailand far from 'returning to normal' after deadly blast
BANGKOK--Thai authorities have brought down the curtain on their investigation into a deadly explosion at a prime location in August, but the truth behind the terror attack remains shrouded in mystery.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, left, and Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
INSIGHT: Japan remains under U.S. military yoke even outside Okinawa
Japan is kidding itself if it truly believes it has full sovereignty 70 years after its defeat in World War II.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Motooki Hayasaka)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Security legislation protesters take ownership of their thoughts
On the night national security legislation cleared the Upper House, I was around the south gate of the Diet building amid a sea of people who had gathered there.
A Japan Coast Guard patrol boat, foreground, follows Chinese marine surveillance ships within Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Chance encounter could set unavoidable spiral of hostilities in motion
Japanese and Chinese fighter jets, which are at daily loggerheads, are drawn into hostilities over the South China Sea.
Hong Kong activists mark the first anniversary of the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement on Sept. 28, holding yellow umbrellas, the symbol of the protests. (Mitsusada Enyo)
INSIGHT: China's call for neighbors to concede its power creating tensions
BEIJING--At an international symposium this summer in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized Japan for failing to embrace China's emergence as a global power.
Hugh Cortazzi, a former British ambassador to Japan (Photo by Shiho Watanabe)
INSIGHT: Former British diplomat concerned over Abe’s war anniversary statement
LONDON--Prince Philip, the future Duke of Edinburgh, was aboard the HMS Whelp at anchor in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.
Stage actors and actresses mount a silent protest against security bills in Kyoto on Sept. 16 in response to calls from “the association of actors and people of dramatic expressions opposed to the security legislation and the Abe administration’s wild run.” (Naho Sotome)
INSIGHT: Abe administration ‘running wild’ over opposing voices
Protesters mounted desperate demonstrations day after day, but the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stuck to its plan, and new national security legislation was enacted on Sept. 19.
A ray of light illuminates the sky over Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, as a symbol of hope for the town's reconstruction on Sept. 4, hours before an evacuation order for Naraha, in place after the 2011 nuclear disaster, was lifted. Light in the left background comes from Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s thermal power plant in Hirono in the same prefecture. (Satoru Semba)
INSIGHT: Fukushima should draw on strengths from ancient times to chart its future
FUKUSHIMA--One question has remained in my mind since I moved to this city, the capital of Fukushima Prefecture, one and a half years ago: Why are there so many power plants in this prefecture?
Suzuko Numata, in a wheelchair, tells of her wartime experiences to children at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in 2007. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: A-bomb survivor bequeathed message calling on Obama to visit Hiroshima
HIROSHIMA--When I met her again, she was in paradise, and I was still on this earth.
People's Liberation Army troops march during a military parade in Beijing on Sept. 3. (Takaharu Yagi)
INSIGHT: Was Beijing’s war anniversary military parade 'serving the people'?
BEIJING--I sat in a spectator’s seat outside Tiananmen Gate to watch a military parade held on Sept. 3 in the Chinese capital to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Aiko Tanaka is surrounded by students at her Japanese-language class in Davao, the Philippines, in August. (Naoji Shibata)
INSIGHT: Postwar period yet to end for Japanese descendants in Philippines
DAVAO, Philippines--A Japanese-language class is offered free of charge every Saturday on the premises of a private home close to the seashore, a little less than an hour’s drive from the center of this city on Mindanao Island.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makiko Ikenaga)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Time to end 70 years of ‘outsourcing’ politics and reclaim ownership
On a recent visit to the Takahashi family grave for the first time in 10 years, I came across a bizarre sight: A white sheet of paper, large enough to cover about one-third the family gravestone, was taped onto it.
A representative for the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, center, responds to reporters' questions outside the venue of a news conference in Bangkok in May after the group was ordered by the military junta to cancel the session. (Ryosuke Ono)
INSIGHT: Free speech in Thailand falls under routine surveillance by ruling junta
BANGKOK--Suppose that a military officer, to whom you are not particularly close, has clicked the “Like” button on your Facebook page only when you have uploaded family photos there.
Citizens march in front of the Fukushima city government office on Aug. 11 to protest the restart of the No. 1 reactor of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. (The Asahi Shimbun)
INSIGHT: Failing to see dangers of nuclear power right under one's nose
Fifty-three months after the fateful nuclear disaster, the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture has become the first in Japan to resume after all were taken offline for safety inspections.
The seawall lies collapsed in the Aketo district of Tanohata, Iwate Prefecture, in July, more than four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Toshihide Ueda)
INSIGHT: Women in Tohoku village refused to play host to nuclear plant
TANOHATA, Iwate Prefecture--A sandy beach filling a gap in the cliffs and a badly damaged seawall came into view soon after I embarked on a sightseeing ship along the coastal area of this village, which has received the moniker of “Alps of the sea.”

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