Demonstrators call for the release of Kenji Goto, a journalist taken by the Islamic State militant group as hostage, in front of the prime minister’s office on Jan. 25 after reports surfaced the previous night that another hostage, Haruna Yukawa, was killed.  (Takeshi Tokitsu)
EDITORIAL: Nations must work in solidarity against terror
The act can only be described as vicious.
A street in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, dating from the Edo Period (1603-1867) is popular with foreign visitors. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Tourist boom offers chance to revitalize local communities
Foreign visitor numbers to Japan reached 13.4 million in 2014, up 30 percent from the previous year, when the 10 million mark was passed for the first time.
A labor ministry panel's draft outline of revisions to the Labor Standards Law proposes a new pay system for well-paid specialists, such as currency dealers. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Labor reform proposals short on measures to prevent overwork
An advisory council for the labor ministry discussing regulations concerning working hours has released a draft outline of revisions to the Labor Standards Law. This outline will serve as the basis for a bill that the government plans to submit to the ordinary Diet session that is scheduled to convene on Jan. 26.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions about the "comfort women" issue from a lawmaker at a Diet session on Oct. 3. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Dark facts in Japan's history all the more important to keep in schoolbooks
Textbook publisher Suken Shuppan has decided to remove the term "comfort women" from three of its textbooks for high school civics classes.
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, second from right, and other Cabinet members meet on Jan. 20 to discuss how to respond to the Islamic State group that is demanding a ransom for two Japanese hostages. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Islamic State's unconscionable savagery hits Japan
The Islamic State extremist group has unleashed its savagery upon Japanese citizens.
Some butter products are sold out at a supermarket store in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, in October 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Deregulation, reforms would cut risk of butter shortages
Japanese supermarkets and other food retailers continue to grapple with a butter shortage.
Katsuto Momii, president of Japan Broadcasting Corp. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: To gain trust, NHK’s international programs must remain independent
Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) has decided to ramp up efforts to enhance its international broadcasts as a key management goal under its new business plan for fiscal 2015-2017.
Elementary school children and their parents take part in a firefighting drill in the playground of a local school in Kobe's Tarumi Ward in November. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Enhanced vigilance against natural disasters cannot be overstated
The Great Hanshin Earthquake struck on this day 20 years ago, claiming 6,434 lives in Kobe and surrounding areas.
French soldiers secure the access to a Jewish school in Paris as part of the highest level of the "Vigipirate" security plan after last week's attacks by Islamist militants on Jan. 14. (AP Photo)
EDITORIAL: France needs to keep a level head in responding to terrorism
A week has passed since the brutal terrorist attacks in France left 17 people dead, including editors and cartoonists working in the offices of satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
The government’s budget proposal for the new fiscal year hurts the socially vulnerable, including the elderly at nursing homes.  (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Fiscal 2015 budget serves only to shift burden to the poor
Social security spending accounts for nearly one-third of the state’s general-account budget and is still growing.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a news conference to announce his decision to approve the exercise of Japan’s right to collective self-defense on July 1, 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Under legal revision, what exactly are 'situations threatening Japan's existence'?
Based on the Cabinet decision last summer to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, the government is considering revising the 2003 Law on Armed Attack Situations by applying the new concept of “situations threatening Japan’s existence” to the law.
Officials with Tokyo Gas Co. recharge a Toyota Motor Corp. Mirai fuel-cell vehicle with hydrogen at the hydrogen station it opened in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward on Dec. 18. (Daiki Koga)
EDITORIAL: Promote hydrogen as a major energy source for Japan's future
When an electric current is passed through water, the water is split into its two components--hydrogen and oxygen. This process is called electrolysis of water, as we learn in science classes at school.
Citizens hold umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong's Occupy protest movement, in the Admiralty district on Oct. 28 to mark one month since the start of pro-democracy demonstrations. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Careful approach required in dealing with changing China
In 2014, there were plenty of occasions for reflecting anew on relations with China.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, and his Cabinet members prepare for a Cabinet meeting on Jan. 9. (Shogo Koshida)
EDITORIAL: Extra budget should not be a loophole for pork-barrel spending
The government has decided on a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year, which runs through March.
A participant holds a poster reading “I am Charlie” as people gather to express solidarity with the murdered French journalists in Paris on Jan. 7. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Nations must unite to stop attacks against free speech
The attack against a French newspaper was a gruesome act of terrorism that left us speechless. It is also a grave, threatening challenge to freedom of speech, an essential element of the foundation of a democratic society.
Declaring their candidacies for leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan, from left, are: Katsuya Okada, Goshi Hosono and Akira Nagatsuma. (Shogo Koshida)
EDITORIAL: DPJ needs to look beyond Jan. 18 leadership election
A three-way race for leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan kicked off Jan. 7.
Freshly harvested tuna lined up for the year's first auction at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo's Chuo Ward on Jan. 5 (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: The overriding lesson from tuna fishing: Never fish to excess
The global appetite for seafood cannot continue at its present rate unless something is done about overfishing.
Protesters in front of the Diet building in Tokyo on Nov. 7 oppose the restart of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Consensus-building process needed for nuclear policy decisions
Nearly four years have passed since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York in September 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Rebuild rule of international law to rescue world order
The year 2014 has just passed, and it will quite likely go down in history as a year when international order was seriously disturbed.
Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issuing the Murayama statement on Aug. 15, 1995, left, dramatist Hisashi Inoue, center, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Japan should never forget its responsibility for the war
Seven decades have passed since the end of World War II.

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