Rubble from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated central Nepal in late April remains near Durbar Square in Katmandu, a World Heritage site, on May 25. (Ryosuke Ono)
INSIGHT: Nepal tent villages symbolize tug of war between major powers over quake relief
KATMANDU--Tent villages remained in place in many parts of the Nepalese capital, a reminder of the great earthquake that struck the central part of this landlocked nation two months ago.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: New ways of doing things can spring from unexpected sources
A pamphlet in “manga” form, published by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, promotes constitutional revision. Since many people were talking about it, I decided to check it out. Reading it gave me an unsettling feeling I couldn’t put my finger on.
The seated Yakushi Nyorai figure of Shojoji temple is flanked by the standing statues of its two attendant bodhisattvas, Nikko Bosatsu, right, and Gakko Bosatsu, at an exhibition in Tokyo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Don’t let nuclear disaster be forgotten like great Fukushima monk
YUGAWA, Fukushima Prefecture--A chance to visit a historic Buddhist temple in this northeastern village and learn about a great monk underscored the importance of passing down the history of the Fukushima nuclear disaster correctly to future generations.
U.S. lawmakers applaud as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe takes the podium at a joint meeting of Congress on April 29. (Shinichi Iizuka)
INSIGHT: Discomfort with pro-U.S. skeptics of Japan’s Constitution
Media attention was focused on what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to say about his perceptions of East Asian history when he gave an address to the U.S. Congress in late April.
Zhang Amei at Beijing Capital International Airport (The Asahi Shimbun)
INSIGHT: Criticism arises in two nations over simple gesture to help friend in need
BEIJING--One afternoon in April, I was at Beijing Capital International Airport awaiting the arrival of an Emirates flight from Dubai carrying a passenger named Zhang Amei.
Members of the public in the gallery observe discussions at the Lower House Commission on the Constitution on May 7. (Shinichi Iizuka)
INSIGHT: ‘Proactive pacifism’ engraved in Constitution 69 years ago by Japanese
Many Japanese are aware that the Constitution of Japan was prepared on the basis of a draft provided by the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Allied occupation forces. Many also know that its major characteristic resides in pacifism.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Time to relearn the ‘fundamental spirit’ of democracy
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, the university where I was teaching at the time canceled the graduation ceremony that was scheduled for March 19. “To ensure safety” was the reason given for the cancellation.
The USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Calif. (Naoji Shibata)
INSIGHT: 40 years after Fall of Saigon, national reconciliation remains distant
HO CHI MINH CITY--Scenes of the Vietnam War remain vivid in the memories of a 54-year-old professor, who teaches at a private university in this southern megalopolis.
Protesters gather outside the Okinawa prefectural government office in Naha on April 28 to oppose the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko Point of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture. (Kazuo Yamagishi)
POINT OF VIEW/ Eiji Oguma: Misunderstanding of security treaty muddles Okinawa base issue
The planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan to the Henoko district of Nago, both in Okinawa Prefecture, is attracting attention. Here are some of my opinions on the matter.
Shoei and Takako Endo, evacuating from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, walk their dog, Harry, in Kagoshima. (Ryo Ikeda)
INSIGHT: Fondness for the ‘earth’ guided Fukushima couple displaced by nuke disaster
KAGOSHIMA--Onions, carrots, garlic and peas were among the crops seen planted carefully on small patches of farmland that lay by the side and at the back of a detached house in this city near the southern end of Kyushu.
Hikaru Domoto, left, executive vice president of Japan Broadcasting Corp., and Toshio Fukuda, senior managing director of TV Asahi Corp., are summoned to a panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on April 17 over specific programs that were aired. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Like white sand through fingers, freedom of speech falling again
What is visible on the surface may not appear to be a big story. But what lies underneath deserves more attention.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Jakarta on April 22 (Pool)
INSIGHT: Japan should ruminate a yearlong absence of discussions on AIIB
A building that is believed to serve as the headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, an upcoming China-led international financial institution, is under construction in the Beijing Financial Street, a district west of Tiananmen Square.
Genichiro Takahashi (Photo by Makoto Kaku)
POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Actor Sugawara’s intelligence embraces healthy ‘ignorance’
In my second year in high school, a friend and I hitchhiked from Kobe to Hiroshima during the summer holidays. Our plan was to be in Hiroshima on Aug. 6. We arrived there late at night on Aug. 5.
Anupong Tangwongsakul shows off his Honda CR-V displaying the Japanese letters “Hashire Melos” on the rear window in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Naoji Shibata)
INSIGHT: Weak yen under Abenomics hurts expat pensioners' lives in Southeast Asia
CHIANG MAI, Thailand--A phrase in Japanese is painted in large letters across the front and rear windows of a Honda four-wheel drive vehicle that Anupong Tangwongsakul steers through the scorching heat of this northern Thai city.
China's Statue of Liberty, much smaller than the one in New York, stands in Huanghuagang Park in Guangzhou. (Takio Murakami)
INSIGHT: China's Statue of Liberty may have deep roots in society
GUANGZHOU, China--Readers may be surprised to learn there is a Statue of Liberty in China.
Japanese "meijin" Yuta Iyama, left, loses to China's Chen Yaoye in the finals of a three-nation go championship with South Korea, held in the Chinese city of Xian in January. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
INSIGHT: Japan, China, S. Korea can learn wisdom from game of go
BEIJING--There is finally momentum toward improving Japan-China relations.
A student weeps at a memorial ceremony in Lahore, Pakistan, on Dec. 17, a day after Islamic extremists killed about 150 people, mostly children, in an attack on a school in Peshawar. (AP Photo)
INSIGHT: In Pakistan, the threat of terrorism is part and parcel of daily life
ISLAMABAD--Mushtaq, a 40-year-old restaurant owner, lives in daily fear for himself and his family: Terrorism is a deadly neighbor.
Xi Jinping
INSIGHT: Japan needs to talk now that Xi has strengthened control over government
I traveled to Beijing for the first time in two years to cover the National People's Congress. On the night of March 15, when the session closed, I attended a function with colleagues when someone who checked a news site on their mobile phone said, "Xu Caihou died."
Satoshi Shima, center, visits an exhibition on renewable energy in Tokyo in July with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, left. (Naohito Maeda)
INSIGHT: Why not talk more about a nuclear-free future for Japan?
While German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is moving to pull the plug on nuclear power in her nation, was visiting Japan on March 9, I met with a former Lower House member.
A coastal levee, 7.2 meters high and 23.2 meters wide, is under construction in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture, to replace an embankment destroyed by the March 2011 tsunami. The government is spending 1 trillion yen to build coastal levees totaling 400 kilometers, mainly in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. (Yosuke Fukudome)
POINT OF VIEW/ Eiji Oguma: Post-disaster reconstruction is about reviving will to live
Communities along the Sanriku coast of the Tohoku region, devastated by the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, reportedly remain in plight as they face a mountain of problems: people are leaving their communities, industrial infrastructure is weakening and the population is rapidly aging.

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