A diver jumps into the sea to inspect the seabed off Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Feb. 26 for damage to coral reefs caused by concrete blocks. (Tetsuro Takehana)
EDITORIAL: Talks urgently needed with Okinawa on Henoko seabed tussle
Confrontation is escalating between the central government and Okinawa Prefecture over the preparatory work for land reclamation to build a new U.S. air base off the Henoko district of Nago. When completed, it will replace the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responds to a question during a Lower House session on March 3. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Ban corporate donations to restore public’s trust in politics
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Democratic Party of Japan leader Katsuya Okada on March 3 joined a growing list of political heavyweights whose party branches received contributions from companies that were awarded government subsidies.
Japanese and South Korean citizens offer flowers at a ceremony held in Fukuoka on Feb. 8 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the death of Yun Dong-ju. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: War-era Korean poet embodied symbiosis needed to mend Japan-South Korea ties
People in various parts of Japan gathered in meetings last month to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the death of Yun Dong-ju (1917-45), who is revered and beloved in South Korea as a national poet.
Protesters hold an anti-Korean rally in Osaka on Oct. 19 with one participant holding up a sign saying, "Return jobs and tax money.” (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: It’s time to take steps to tighten noose around hate speech
A panel of experts commissioned by the Osaka city government has recently submitted a report to Mayor Toru Hashimoto on dealing with hate speech, or discriminatory expressions that incite hatred toward a particular racial or ethnic group.
Flowers are laid on the banks of the Tamagawa river in Kawasaki where Ryota Uemura's body was found. (Takuya Isayama)
EDITORIAL: How come no one saw the warning signs before boy was slain?
The arrest of three teenagers Feb. 27 on suspicion of murdering a boy in Kawasaki has left us wondering why the school and the local community failed to protect the 13-year-old's life.
A drone for surveying volcanoes flies over Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture in an operational test on Dec. 9. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Japan urgently needs regulations for drones
The use of small, unmanned flying robots called drones is spreading rapidly in various fields.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the first meeting on Feb. 25 of the advisory council of experts on his planned statement to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Abe's war statement should reflect Japan's soul-searching, not obscure history
An advisory council of experts on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned statement to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II held its first meeting on Feb. 25.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews the troops at the Air Self-Defense Force's Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture in October 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Civilian control crucial to maintaining public's trust in SDF
Under Japan’s traditional system of overseeing operations of the Self-Defense Forces, the defense minister and bureaucrats in civilian positions “outrank” uniformed SDF officers.
Protesters rally in front of Camp Schwab’s gate in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Feb. 22 in opposition to the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the city. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Strong-arm tactics exacerbate deplorable situation in Okinawa
Two Japanese citizens protesting ongoing work to construct a U.S. military base off the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, have been unreasonably arrested.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions on Japan’s approach toward the Islamic State extremist group from Akira Koike, a member of the Japanese Communist Party, at an Upper House Budget Committee session on Feb. 3. (Shogo Koshida)
EDITORIAL: Abe’s hostile, unseemly heckling in the Diet
Some irregular remarks were made at a recent session of the Lower House Budget Committee that left us wondering if we heard them right.
LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura opens talks between the ruling party and Komeito on Feb. 20 in Tokyo's Nagatacho district. (Shinichi Iizuka)
EDITORIAL: Security legislation needs to include check on SDF operations
The government is showing alarming signs of pursuing a radical and dangerous expansion of the Self-Defense Forces’ operations overseas through proposed new security legislation, which is the focus of the current Diet session.
The grand bench of the Supreme Court will make a decision on the constitutionality of the two key provisions in the Civil Law. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Time to end the bigotry and let married couples use different surnames
The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case concerning the constitutionality of a Civil Law provision that bans married couples from using different surnames.
Crew members of a Maritime Self-Defense minesweeper prepare a mine disposal unit to descend into the waters off Bahrain in the Persian Gulf during a multinational drill last November. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Abe's case for SDF mine-clearing missions in key oil channel unconvincing
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Self-Defense Forces can be deployed to carry out minesweeping operations in the Strait of Hormuz even though a cease-fire has yet to be reached in the area.
Katsuya Okada, president of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, right, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a Lower House session on Feb. 16 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Opposition must push Diet debate in postwar landmark year
The ongoing debate in the Diet inevitably turns our attention to the significance of Japan’s 70 post-World War II years.
A rally in support of the rights of sexual minorities is held in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward in April 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Shibuya’s move to support gay couples should spark broader debate
Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has announced its plan to recognize same-sex relationships as the equivalent of marriages and issue “partnership certificates” to gay couples.
Masahiko Komura, vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, addresses members of his party and junior coalition partner Komeito at the beginning of a meeting on the overhaul of a package of legislation on security on Feb. 13. (Shinichi Iizuka)
EDITORIAL: Ruling parties should not ramrod through unreasonable security legislation
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, its junior coalition partner, have opened talks on national security legislation this month, the focus of the current Diet session.
Citizens protest restarting of reactors at the Takahama nuclear power plant at a rally in Kyoto on Feb. 12. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Bring more parties aboard in reactor restart process
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has formally approved an application by Kansai Electric Power Co. to restart the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a policy speech in the Lower House on Feb. 12. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Abe’s ‘drastic reform’ agenda leaves many questions unanswered
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Feb. 12 delivered a fairly passionate policy speech at the Diet stressing his commitment to reform.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, second from right, speaks at the first meeting on Feb. 10 of the special committee to review the government’s responses to the Islamic State hostage crisis. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Review of Middle East policies best way to assess handling of hostage crisis
A senior government official who was involved in the handling of the recent hostage crisis said his perception of the experience is that “Japan’s crisis management has entered a totally different dimension from that in the past.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 10. (Shinichi Iizuka)
EDITORIAL: 'Development cooperation charter' could transform Japan's foreign policy
The Abe Cabinet on Feb. 10 approved a new “development cooperation charter” to replace the official development assistance charter that used to provide the guidelines for Japan’s aid policy for developing nations.

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