Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Imagining the unimaginable about war, comfort women
At the start of the 2006 film “Flags of Our Fathers,” the voiceover narrator states to the effect that people who really know war do not talk about war.
In an interview in 2010, Ye Jinghuan speaks about her 21-month ordeal at a “re-education through labor” camp. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Labor re-education system is gone, but rancor remains for former inmates
BEIJING--The woman always returns on Mondays.
Pag-asa Island, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Manila in new arms race with a China it cannot match
SPRATLY ISLANDS--Pag-asa (hope) Island looked like a historic battlefield when I chartered a fishing boat in August to visit this Philippine military outpost in the South China Sea.
Tsurugajo Castle (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Fukushima alive with seeds of industrial innovation
AIZU-WAKAMATSU, Fukushima Prefecture--Tsurugajo Castle here, which set the stage for major developments during the Boshin civil war of 1868-1869 that established the imperial rule, is a testament to the history of Japan’s modernization process.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Amid wars, reality is more complex, filled with greater richness
The Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks topped 1,000 in Gaza. In Ukraine, a civilian airliner was shot down and nearly 300 passengers were killed.
Miyako Jodai speaks at the peace memorial ceremony in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, left, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun photos)
COMMENTARY: Nagasaki A-bomb survivor's anger bursts out as Abe shifts security policy
NAGASAKI--When an atomic bomb survivor began reading her “pledge for peace” at the peace memorial ceremony here on Aug. 9, I immediately noticed a deviation from the text of her speech.
Lugou Bridge, also known as Marco Polo Bridge, outside Beijing (AP Photo)
COMMENTARY: Confucian spirit of 'loyalty, empathy' found nowhere in Japan-China relations
BEIJING--The summer sunlight here is so dazzling.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: ‘Let It Go’ and thaw the ‘frozen’ emperor system
I recently went to see the blockbuster animated film “Frozen.” Several months had already passed since its release in Japan, but the theater was still standing room only.
A log-grown shiitake mushroom producer in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, appears despondent in April 2012 after shipments from the city were suspended. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Radioactive pollution endangers cultures of Tohoku mountain communities
ICHINOSEKI, Iwate Prefecture--Residents of the Higashiyama district, some 15 kilometers east of the center of this northeastern city, used to go into the mountains to gather wild plants to serve on their tables following the spring thaw.
A Chinese defender, right, clears the ball during an AFC Champions League match against a Japanese team in Hiroshima in 2010. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Rough-and-tumble Chinese struggle to become world power in soccer
The Japanese national soccer team put up a good fight, but failed to make it to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Mayu Watanabe of AKB48 is known as Ma Yu Yu in China. (The Asahi Shimbun)
COMMENTARY: Chinese come out in droves to vote ... in AKB48 election
BEIJING--Mayu Watanabe, the top vote-getter in the “general election” for popular idol group AKB48, is known in China as Ma Yu Yu, after her Japanese nickname, Mayuyu.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Hiromi Shinada)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: A kind of democracy that makes minority ‘thank’ majority
On March 18, the Legislative Yuan, or Taiwan’s parliament, was occupied by hundreds of students protesting the cross-strait service trade agreement with China, which would open up services markets, such as restaurant and bar services and financial services, to each other.
Normal tail feathers of a common reed bunting, left, and abnormal ones with an uneven length and a moth-eaten appearance (Provided by the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology)
COMMENTARY: Abnormal changes in small birds and the role of science
FUKUSHIMA--The chirping of birds filled the air on the riverbed where the Abukumagawa river runs through the city of Fukushima just after 4 a.m. on May 24.
"Wind from the Sea," 1947, tempera on hardboard (c) Andrew Wyeth. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Gift of Charles H. Morgan
From Pennsylvania to Japan, captivated by Andrew Wyeth
Tattered lace curtains billow softly in the breeze. Outside the window stretches a field of dull yellow-green. The sky and a river flowing toward the ocean are painted a pale gray. There is no one in sight.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Hiromi Shinada)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Infiltration of market principles into Japanese society
At the university where I teach, a colleague decided to quit before he reached the mandatory retirement age. He was a good educator who was well-liked by his students.
A portrait of Ding Zilin, founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of bereaved families, hangs at the June 4th Museum in Hong Kong, a facility dedicated to remembering the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Re-evaluation of Tiananmen incident remains distant dream
BEIJING--Wang Nan, a second-year high school student who aspired to be a newspaper reporter, never returned home after leaving for Tiananmen Square late on June 3, 1989.
A wind turbine installed last year off Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, will be part of a floating wind farm. The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is seen in the background. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Disaster-hit Tohoku communities search for a renewable way
FUKUSHIMA--An international quintet of students took the top prize of a contest on renewables in a prefecture where energy has long been a special “local product.”
Visitors admire the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., in April. (Yuko Lanham)
Cherry blossoms and Yasukuni: clashing images of Japan's public diplomacy
A cherry tree by the Potomac River measures 2 meters around its trunk. Looking at the young leaves, you would never guess this tree was more than 100 years old. A nearby sign states that this is the first cherry tree that Tokyo gifted to Washington, D.C., in 1912 as a symbol of their friendship.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Hiromi Shinada)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Clutching at happiness in a ‘singles society’
Late in his life, my father moved back to his childhood home after his grandmother and sisters, who had been living there, all passed away. Living alone in the old house, he was twice diagnosed with cancer and eventually hospitalized.
The entrance to the An Jung-geun memorial hall in Harbin, China (Toshihiro Yamanaka)
COMMENTARY: Friend of 'great criminal of Korea' showed what Abe government needs
On a visit to the Chinese city of Harbin, I saw the An Jung-geun memorial hall soon after its opening, and it contained a number of surprises.

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