Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at the first meeting of the government’s Headquarters for Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan on Sept. 12. On his left is Shigeru Ishiba, the minister in charge. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Finding a viable future for rural areas full of pitfalls
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making the regeneration of provincial areas a top policy priority for his reshuffled Cabinet.
The Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Plans to restart Sendai nuclear plant leave a multitude of unresolved questions
Last week, the government implemented several procedural steps toward restarting the Sendai nuclear plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co.
EDITORIAL: We take to heart the basic principle in arguing our views
The Asahi Shimbun has made some serious mistakes that have led to its gravest crisis in the postwar era.
Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara announces a new policy on political donations at a news conference in Tokyo on Sept. 8. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Keidanren unconvincing in pushing political donations
Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) has decided to call on its member companies to make donations to political parties. The decision means the powerful business lobby will resume its involvement in the flow of big money into politics after five years of refraining from playing such a role.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the State Guest House in Tokyo on Sept. 1 (Pool)
EDITORIAL: Abe should face sober diplomatic realities in South Asia
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been waging a diplomatic offensive in South Asia to "cut" China’s so-called String of Pearls. Abe's aim is to strengthen Japan’s relations with India and other countries to counterbalance China’s growing presence in the region.
Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, attends the emperor's annual garden party in May 1988. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Emperor Showa annals should be used to squarely face history
The Imperial Household Agency on Sept. 9 released “The Annals of Emperor Showa” that document the life of Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989), posthumously known as Emperor Showa.
Anti-Korean demonstrators rally in Osaka in March 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Japan should ban hate speech based on moral principles
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged the Japanese government to impose legal restrictions on hate speech that provokes antipathy against specific races and ethnic groups. The panel made the call in its “concluding observations” issued on Aug. 29.
Farmers rally in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, on Aug. 27 in a bid to block a TPP agreement. (Toru Saito)
EDITORIAL: Japan, U.S. should consider consumers, not industries, in reaching TPP deal
Japan is involved in negotiations over several economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with its trade partners. But multilateral talks for some important trade pacts with other Asia-Pacific countries have been struggling to make headway.
The No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, foreground, at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Speed up preparations to decommission nuclear reactors
In what should be described as an outrageously belated move, Kansai Electric Power Co. has begun considering decommissioning the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at its Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. Both are aged reactors that have been in service for more than 40 years. Moreover, a fault line runs underneath the site of the reactors.
Sadakazu Tanigaki, former president of the Liberal Democratic Party, enters the party headquarters in Tokyo’s Naagatacho district on Sept. 3. (Satoru Sekiguchi)
EDITORIAL: LDP moderate Tanigaki can help rebuild Japan’s ties with neighbors
Former Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki has become the ruling party’s new secretary-general.
A man watches a broadcast news conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his Cabinet reshuffle at a discount electronics shop in Osaka’s Naniwa Ward on Sept. 3. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
EDITORIAL: Reshuffle should lead to policymaking based on national consensus
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 3 reshuffled his Cabinet and replaced his Liberal Democratic Party executive lineup for the first time since the start of his second tenure as the nation's leader.
The Seoul bureau chief of The Sankei Shimbun, center, appears at The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Aug. 18 for questioning regarding the daily’s online article that critics blasted as “defaming” President Park Geun-hye. (Akihiko Kaise)
EDITORIAL: South Korea's suppression of press freedom undermines democracy
Events unfolding in South Korea evoke images of the clock being set back.
The Kumagawa district of Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, is a candidate site for the planned intermediate storage facility. (Satoru Senba)
EDITORIAL: Storing radioactive debris should not be regarded as Fukushima’s problem
Fukushima Prefecture and two towns, Okuma and Futaba, have accepted the central government’s plan to construct an intermediate storage facility for radioactive soil and other polluted material generated by the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Chub mackerels caught off Arida, Wakayama Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Diverse efforts needed to protect marine resources
International concern is growing over the dwindling populations of the Pacific bluefin tuna and the Japanese eel, or “nihon unagi,” but they are not the only fishes that need protection.
A worker sprays insecticides to kill mosquitoes on Aug. 28 in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. (Jun Ueda)
EDITORIAL: New cases of dengue fever should be a wake-up call for Japan
The first case of dengue fever, a disease normally associated with the tropics, was confirmed just the other day in Japan, the first in 70 years.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Time for Abe to clarify his views about World War II, war criminals
In April, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a written message of mourning to an annual Buddhist memorial service to honor Japanese World War II soldiers who were executed after the war as Class-A, Class-B and Class-C war criminals. The message was offered in the name of Abe as the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
A demonstrator protests the new basic energy plan approved by the Abe Cabinet in front of the prime minister’s office on April 11. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Abe administration ignoring public comment at its peril
A system, no matter how well designed, serves little purpose unless it is put into effective use with the intention of benefiting from it.
Holding a portrait of his late wife, Hamako, Mikio Watanabe meets reporters in Fukushima on Aug. 26 after the Fukushima District Court ruling. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Society must find ways to reduce stress of Fukushima survivors
In July 2011, Hamako Watanabe committed suicide by setting herself ablaze. Having been forced to evacuate her home in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March that year, Watanabe was allowed to return home for a short visit. That was when she killed herself.
Company executives attend a meeting of Kansai region business leaders in Kyoto in February to discuss how to raise the profile of women in corporate Japan. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Wholesale reform of Japanese work culture is what's needed
A growing number of Japanese companies are making an effort to create an environment that allows women to play an active role and assume an important position at the workplace.
Japan Coast Guard officers transport a protester on their boat after detaining him from a canoe off Henoko, Okinawa Prefecture, on Aug. 15. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Government should offer convincing rationale, or freeze Henoko relocation
The seabed drilling survey has begun in the sea off Henoko in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, the planned reclamation site for relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is currently located in Ginowan in the same prefecture. The Japan Coast Guard and the Okinawa Defense Bureau are closely guarding the area.

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