A photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on June 30 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watching an earlier test launch of a tactical rocket. (Korea News Service)
EDITORIAL: Japan must tell North Korea that its provocations are pointless
North Korea has kept up a series of provocative missile launches this year. In its latest test, apparently a political gesture, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan off its eastern coast on July 26.
Eiju Hangai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Renewable energy promotion a good opportunity to nurture local ‘sovereignty’
A recent survey jointly conducted by The Asahi Shimbun and Hitotsubashi University has found that 80 percent of municipalities throughout the country that responded to the questionnaire are willing to promote renewable energies for regional development.
Saga Airport (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Osprey redeployment plan should be more than a vote-grabbing ploy
The Abe administration has revealed a plan to temporarily redeploy a fleet of MV-22 Osprey aircraft from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the city of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to Saga Airport, a commercial facility.
Eikoh Harada, right, CEO of Benesse Holdings Inc., apologizes for a leak of customers' personal data at a news conference in Tokyo on July 17. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Japan needs registration system to regulate ‘name list’ businesses
No matter how many precautions you take, you cannot completely prevent wrongdoing and criminal activity.
Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Indonesia's new president should push reforms to uphold democracy
Voters in Indonesia have elected Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo as their new president. Joko will be a president who is neither a former top military officer nor a man with a political pedigree.
Local firefighters examine debris from the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine on July 20. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Russia must clarify cause of Malaysia Airlines jet crash
No attack against a commercial airliner can ever be condoned. When one occurs, the international community has a duty to thoroughly investigate to help keep the skies safe.
A man with mental illness talks with a staffer in his room at the group home built within premises of a mental hospital in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: In dealing with mental illness, community ties matter
Some 200,000 people in Japan suffering from mental illness have been in hospital for a year or longer. About 65,000 of them have been hospitalized for a decade or more.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe listens to Tsuneo Watanabe, second from left, chairman of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, who chairs the government’s advisory council on the application of the state secrets protection law, at a meeting July 17. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Council on state secrets law offers no answers to public concerns
It is highly doubtful whether the proposed guidelines concerning the designation and declassification of information under the state secrets law will actually be an effective safeguard of the people’s right to know.
Chinese homebuyers look at models of residential apartment buildings during a real estate fair in Dalian city, northeast Chinas Liaoning province, on July 13. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
EDITORIAL: China’s economy depends too heavily on real estate
China’s economy saw substantial growth in the April-June quarter. The country’s gross domestic product increased by 7.5 percent during the three months from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics announced July 16.
A former husband involved in one of the three paternity cases before the Supreme Court on July 17 looks at photographs of his daughter on July 3. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Legal definition of fatherhood needs review
The Supreme Court on July 17 ruled that the legal relationship between a father and a child cannot be disestablished even if genetic testing proves the man has no biological ties to the child.
The Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Too many vital questions need answering before restarting reactors
The nuclear catastrophe that struck in 2011 raised a wide range of grave issues for Japanese politics and society. But none of them has been answered satisfactorily.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a session of the Upper House Budget Committee on July 15 (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Diet deliberations highlight Abe's inept thinking
No matter how hard Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to reassure the public that he has their best interests at heart, he cannot cover up the inconsistency between his words and what his Cabinet has set in motion by reinterpreting the Constitution to allow the nation to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Taizo Mikazuki, newly elected Shiga governor, gives a news conference a day after the vote on July 13. With him was Yukiko Kada, the current governor who is stepping down and a staunch advocate of Japan abandoning nuclear energy. (Tatsuya Gunji)
EDITORIAL: Shiga poll outcome deals heavy blow to Abe’s nuclear agenda
Voters in Shiga Prefecture gave a sharp “no” to the Abe administration’s rush to restart idled nuclear reactors.
Shigeru Ishiba, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is asked about his earlier comment equating protest rallies and demonstrations with acts of terrorism at a news conference in December 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Politicians must choose words carefully to protect society
In his book of essays titled “Fu fu fu fu” (Ha ha ha ha), novelist and playwright Hisashi Inoue (1934-2010) wrote something to this effect:
Eikoh Harada, chairman and CEO of Benesse Holdings Inc., in an interview in Tokyo on July 11  (Takuya Isayama)
EDITORIAL: Poor data protection costs businesses money and reputation
Benesse Holdings Inc., a major education services provider, has disclosed that a huge amount of personal data about its customers, including children, has been leaked.
“Dappo” drugs confiscated by police (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Fight against ‘dappo’ drugs should target dealers
Tragedies linked to the use of “dappo” (law-evading) drugs continue to occur.
A protester holds a placard that reads, “We refuse to allow discrimination and intolerance,” while a group of demonstrators calling for the ouster of foreigners march in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward in April 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Greater efforts needed to eliminate hate speech
A Japanese court once again ruled that hate rallies staged by a right-wing citizens group against a Korean school in Kyoto are illegal.
Imperial Japanese Army soldiers occupy the Lugou (Marco Polo) Bridge in suburban Beijing on July 8, 1937. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Tokyo, Beijing should learn from anniversary of start of hostilities
On July 7, 1937, the Republic of China's National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army exchanged fire at the Lugou (Marco Polo) Bridge in suburban Beijing, triggering the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). China marked the 77th anniversary of this incident on July 7 with a grand ceremony, attended by President Xi Jinping, at the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing.
Satoru Tanaka (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Nuclear watchdog should stick to strict personnel rules
Two key individuals of the nation’s nuclear safety watchdog were in the news last weekend. Neither matter should be overlooked.
Ichita Yamamoto, state minister in charge of IT policies, speaks during a government panel meeting on IT strategies in Tokyo on June 9. (Eitaro Takeyama)
EDITORIAL: Powerful watchdog key to the protection of personal information
One major challenge facing today’s highly networked society is how to protect the privacy of individuals while making good use of the vast amount of personal information flowing through the Internet.

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