Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Foreign Ministry should keep alive spirit of Asian Women’s Fund
The Asian Women’s Fund, set up in the year of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, represented Japan’s national effort to compensate former “comfort women” for their sufferings during the war. These women were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers at “comfort stations” established with the involvement of Japanese military forces.
A prototype maglev bullet train during a test run in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, in September 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Gargantuan maglev train project needs cautious approach
On Oct. 17, transport minister Akihiro Ota approved Central Japan Railway Co.’s (JR Tokai) plan to build a maglev bullet train line for the 2027 scheduled start of service between Shinagawa in Tokyo and Nagoya.
Sanae Takaichi, minister of internal affairs and communications (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Takaichi’s Yasukuni visit would mean more than honoring war dead
Internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi has expressed her intention to visit Yasukuni Shrine during the religious site’s autumn festival, which starts Oct. 17.
High-ranking Japanese and U.S. officials shake hands at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Oct. 8 before the start of a meeting on formulating the new guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation. (Jun Ueda)
EDITORIAL: New defense guidelines could move beyond limits set by Constitution
The envisioned new guidelines for defense cooperation between Japan and the United States, as outlined by an interim report, would be based on dangerously stretched interpretations of the Constitution and the bilateral security treaty.
Many letters and e-mail messages are offered for publication to The Asahi Shimbun’s Tokyo head office (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Newspapers’ role is to make readers think, not promote conflicts of opinion
What is the expected role of a newspaper as a vehicle of free speech? We would like to discuss this on this first day of this year’s “Shimbun Shukan” (Newspaper Week).
Officials of Kansai Electric Power Co. and the local government campaign for energy-saving efforts at JR Osaka Station in July. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Power-saving efforts should mark transition away from nuclear energy
This year’s summer was Japan’s first nuclear-free one since the Fukushima nuclear disaster started in 2011.
People opposing the state secrets protection law take to the streets in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, on Oct. 6. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Public still waiting for Abe to ‘carefully explain’ state secrets law
When the state secrets protection law was passed last December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said this at a news conference: “We will continue to explain this law carefully in order to erase any concerns the public should have.”
The Anegasaki Thermal Power Station in Chiba prefecture, one of TEPCO's aged thermal power plants (Provided by TEPCO)
EDITORIAL: Tie-up by utilities must lead to wider choice, competition in electricity market
Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co. have reached a basic agreement on a business tie-up in the area of thermal power generation.
Members of a South Korean conservative group protest an article in The Sankei Shimbun in front of the building that houses the Japanese newspaper's Seoul bureau on Oct. 7. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: South Korea loses a core democratic value
South Korean prosecutors indicted the former Seoul bureau chief of the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun on Oct. 8 without arresting him on charges he seriously defamed South Korean President Park Geun-hye in an article.
Mount Ontakesan, which straddles the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures, remains active on Sept. 30, three days after the eruption. (Eiji Hori)
EDITORIAL: Risk to nuclear plants from volcanic eruptions cannot be underestimated
The eruption of Mount Ontakesan has raised questions about the ability of nuclear power plants to operate safely in the vicinity of active volcanoes.
Light-emitting diodes are used for many purposes, such as lighting devices. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Research environment should encourage tenacity, not instant results
Some people may not know how a light-emitting diode (LED) works. But in today’s industrialized world, there could hardly be anyone who has never benefitted from LEDs.
Song Il Ho, North Korean ambassador in charge of diplomatic normalization talks with Japan (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Japan should send negotiators to Pyongyang
This autumn, the families of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea decades ago must be growing dreadfully impatient for some good news about their missing loved ones.
Female college students attend a job fair held in Osaka’s Kita Ward in March. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to bolster women’s participation in the work force as part of the nation’s economic growth strategy. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Companies should reveal current data on employment of women
What challenges must be overcome to make Japan a society where women with a desire to work can make good use of their individuality and abilities? What measures are needed to tackle these challenges?
A solar power plant in Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Measures needed to prevent renewable energy boom from going bust
The positive growth of electricity production using renewable energy powered by the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system is beginning to show signs of losing steam.
Banri Kaieda, front, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, poses questions for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Lower House plenary session on Sept. 30. (Shogo Koshida)
EDITORIAL: Turning up the heat on Abe only way to revitalize Diet debate
The nation's opposition parties have shown encouraging signs during recent Diet debate that they will not let Prime Minister Shinzo Abe breeze through this extraordinary session unscathed.
The Bank of Japan head office in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Economy divided between winners and losers
Japan seems to be split between people and companies that are feeling the benefits of a weaker yen and those who aren’t. That is the reality of the nation’s economy and "Abenomics," the economic strategy devised by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Eriko Yamatani (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Abe and his picks must clarify stance on Zaitokukai, racism
Eriko Yamatani, chairwoman of the National Public Safety Commission, should get it into her head that saying she “did not know” just doesn’t cut it.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, right, greets his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, before their meeting in New York on Sept. 25. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Window of opportunity opens for Japan-S. Korea summit
There are signs that the rusted wheels of diplomacy between Japan and South Korea are finally getting the grease needed to begin turning again.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Abe must keep international pledge not to wage war
In his Sept. 25 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan will contribute about $50 million (5.5 billion yen) for refugee support and other activities related to the battle against the militant Islamic State.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida talks to reporters after his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in New York on Sept. 25. (The Asahi Shimbun)
EDITORIAL: Abe, Xi need to redesign the bilateral relationship
Expectations are growing that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet and shake hands this autumn in Beijing.

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