Pu Zhiqiang (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Pu's captivity a prime example of China's crackdown on rights
The Chinese authorities indicted lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, a well-known human rights defender living in Beijing, earlier this month. It is an unjust action against a conscientious lawyer, and we demand that the Chinese government release Pu immediately.
Fishermen capture dolphins in a drive fishery in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Japan needs strategy to win international understanding of dolphin hunt
The drive hunt is a traditional method for capturing dolphins alive by herding them together by boats into an area where they cannot escape. In Japan, this method is used in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Abe's responses to security questions smack of insincerity
What stood out in the first debates between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and opposition party heads in the current Diet session was Abe’s insincere replies that were designed to obscure the essence of questions about security issues.
A large-scale facility is being set up by China on Gaven Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (Provided by Philippine government sources)
EDITORIAL: The dangers of applying security legislation in South China Sea
Tensions are escalating in the South China Sea. China’s large-scale land reclamation project is progressing rapidly on the disputed Spratly Islands, and a 3,000-meter-class airstrip has begun to take shape.
Participants hold placards showing their opposition to the plan to deploy Ospreys to the Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo at a May 17 rally in Fussa, host of the base. (Daisuke Yajima)
EDITORIAL: Safety of Osprey needs reassessment
A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey transport aircraft suffered a hard landing during a training exercise in Hawaii on May 17, killing one crew member.
Education and sports minister Hakubun Shimomura bows in the Upper House on May 13 after the bill to establish a sports agency is approved. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: New sports agency should nurture communities, not just Olympians
Many Japanese must be wondering how a new sports agency, slated to be established in October, will change the environment surrounding their sports lives.
Protesters rally in front of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on May 15 to oppose the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Nago. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: 43 years on, Okinawa still forced to serve mainland's interest
May 15 marked the anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan 43 years ago. Never has the anniversary arrived amid such acute tension between Okinawa Prefecture and the central government.
Protesters walk through Tokyo's Ginza district on May 14 before the Abe Cabinet approved the national security legislation. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Diet must prevent Japan from passing the security point of no return
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 14 formally approved a package of bills to pursue a radically new security policy. The bills were to be submitted to the Diet on May 15.
Kansai Electric Power Co. President Makoto Yagi announces plans to increase household electricity rates in Osaka on May 12. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: We need to hear Kansai Electric's vision for future power sources
Kansai Electric Power Co. will raise its electricity rates for households in June. The standard monthly rate of 8,058 yen will go up to 8,220 yen.
Ikuo Kato, the mayor of Fussa, far right, and other city officials listen May 12 as a Foreign Ministry official, far left, explains the plan to station CV-22 Osprey transport aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, which the municipality hosts. (Daisuke Yajima)
EDITORIAL: Osprey deployment spells 'net increase' in burden for both Tokyo and Okinawa
Ospreys are coming to the skies over Tokyo.
Masahiko Komura, right, vice president of the Liberal Democratic Party, addresses a meeting of ruling coalition members on the national security legislation on May 11. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: A dangerous turning point for postwar Japan
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, reached a formal agreement during talks May 11 on proposed security legislation that would radically change Japan’s defense policy.
Stickers created by women activists call for a ban on groping on public transportation systems. (Provided by activists' supporters)
EDITORIAL: Support needed for civil movements in China and the issues they raise
Five female activists were detained by police in China for organizing a plan to hand out stickers in March on International Women’s Day as part of a campaign against public groping.
A train passenger uses a Suica smart card to get through the ticket gate. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Timely debate on sharpening the teeth of privacy law
The Diet has begun debate on the first major revision to the law on protection of personal information since its enactment in 2003.
The Hashima Coal Mine, popularly known as "battleship island," off the city of Nagasaki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: World Heritage listing should not obscure tragedies, sacrifices behind development
A UNESCO advisory panel has recommended that a group of historically important heavy industry facilities that drove Japan’s rapid modernization should be listed as a World Heritage site.
A soup kitchen operated by Toshima Kodomo Wakuwaku Network in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward in June 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Adults must help children in poverty now to ensure a bright future
When we think about what Japanese children are facing these days, we must pay attention to one number: 16.3. That's the ratio, or percentage, of Japanese children living in poverty. That's one in six Japanese children.
The death chamber at the Tokyo Detention House, viewed from the room to observe hangings (Provided by the Justice Ministry)
EDITORIAL: It's time to reconsider the death penalty
While pre-World War II laws and systems were being reviewed, the Supreme Court in 1948 delivered its verdict on whether the death penalty was compatible with the nation’s postwar Constitution.
A coal-fired thermal power station in Kanagawa Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Cheap trick, weak target highlight Japan's emissions reduction plan
Japan’s new greenhouse gas emissions targets indicate a distressing lack of commitment to the fight against global warming.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions about the Constitution from an opposition lawmaker during a Lower House Budget Committee session in February 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Say no to Abe administration’s high-handed move to amend Constitution
May 3, 1947, was a cold, windy day, and rain had been falling since the previous night.
Lawrence Summers, left, and Ben Bernanke (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
EDITORIAL: Inflation target risks Japan being 'trapped' in endless monetary easing
The Bank of Japan has failed to strike the inflation target it set two years ago for its policy efforts to enable the Japanese economy to shake off the grip of deflation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks before a joint meeting of Congress in Washington on April 29. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Abe’s speech lacked clear message of sympathy to people who have suffered
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s address to the U.S. Congress on April 29, the first delivered by a Japanese prime minister to a joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, stressed postwar reconciliation between Japan and the United States.

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