Alexander Kmentt during a recent visit to Hiroshima (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
INTERVIEW/ Alexander Kmentt: Focus should be on anti-humanitarian nature of nuclear weapons
With the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki next year, there still is a long way to go to achieve a "world without nuclear weapons," which U.S. President Barack Obama called for in his historic address in Prague in 2009.
Katsuto Uchihashi (Photo by Takamitsu Aota)
POINT OF VIEW/ Katsuto Uchihashi: In wartime, the vulnerable suffer the most
They don’t know war, and they don’t know the fear of losing their lives, and yet they are intrepid. I am describing the “militarist boys without knowledge of war,” who are rife in Japan these days.
Hiromu Nonaka, former chief Cabinet secretary, in Kyoto (Photo by Yoshinori Toyomane)
INTERVIEW/ Hiromu Nonaka: War should not be repeated, collective self-defense is dangerous
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 1 decided to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution to lift the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense.
Bates Gill in Tokyo (Photo by Kazuo Yamamoto)
INTERVIEW/ Bates Gill: Optimism for China’s future dims as it pursues less constructive diplomacy
A more confident and assertive China, belying its "peaceful rise" rhetoric of the past, seems increasingly less interested in pursuing constructive relations with its neighbors, said one of the premier American experts on China.
Wu Jianmin (Photo by Koichi Furuya)
INTERVIEW/ Wu Jianmin: Calm, rational diplomacy serves China’s interest
BEIJING--While China playing hardball over the South China Sea and other issues is fueling tension with the United States and with neighboring nations, criticism still remains loud within the country that Beijing’s diplomatic approach is “weak-kneed.”
Toshihito Kayano (Photo by Ken Aso)
POINT OF VIEW/ Toshihito Kayano: Japan must prepare for bursting of China's bubble
When I observed the recent discussions over approving the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, I felt that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's view of "national power" based on military strength was outdated.
Condominium buildings in Changsha, Hunan province (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Shinichi Seki: China’s income disparity shrinking
In China, signs are that the three main income gaps--between coastal and inland areas, urban and rural communities, and among cities--are shrinking.
Norio Akasaka, a Gakushuin University professor and director of Fukushima Museum, describes the Tohoku region during a interview with The Asahi Shimbun. (Hiroki Nishida)
INTERVIEW: Anthropologist says Tohoku region must gain independence from Tokyo
After seeing the rebuilding efforts for the devastation wrought by the triple disaster in March 2011, anthropologist Norio Akasaka said he wondered if the Tohoku region would remain a “colony of Tokyo.”
Ralph Cossa (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Ralph Cossa: China will gain respect for U.S. in joint Pacific military exercise
A noted American national security expert welcomed China's first participation in an ongoing U.S.-led maritime exercise around Hawaii, saying the Chinese can see the United States and many of its allies in action up close and realize the disparity with its own forces.
Tokyo metropolitan assemblyman Akihiro Suzuki, right, apologizes to fellow assembly member Ayaka Shiomura for his sexist jeering in June. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY: Sexist thinking infringes on the right to choose one's lifestyle
Offensive jeering directed at female members of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly and the Lower House of the Diet recently triggered a public uproar.
The Asahi Shimbun
Scholars say Cabinet decision opens, not ends, debate on collective self-defense
Criticism continues over the decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on July 1 to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution to lift the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes to representatives of senior citizens' organizations for revising her campaign promise of a uniform basic pension in September 2013. (Provided by The Dong-A Ilbo)
POINT OF VIEW: Hidehiko Mukoyama: S. Korea extends retirement age as aged society approaches
South Korea is expected to become an “aged society” by 2017, and the government is putting considerable effort into its countermeasures for the graying population.
Akira Iriye (Photo by Mari Sakamoto)
INTERVIEW/ Akira Iriye: Transcending the logic of power
The Abe administration focused on the logic of “power,” as in state and military strength, as the Cabinet on July 1 approved the reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defense.
Daniel Russel (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Daniel Russel: U.S. hopes China will agree to Japan’s call for dialogue on Senkaku issue
The top Asia policymaker in the Obama administration said he believes that the watchword for territorial disputes in East Asia should be “restraint.”
Taichiro Mitani (Photo by Motooki Hayasaka)
INTERVIEW/ Taichiro Mitani: Japan must learn from history of its modern military alliances
Speaking on the exercise of the right to collective self-defense that the Abe administration is pushing, an expert on the political and diplomatic history of Japan worries if the policy is being pursued as a "deterrent against potential enemy states," it carries the "considerable risk" of dragging the nation into a conflict of arms.
David Petraeus
POINT OF VIEW: Success of TPP negotiations is a national security necessity
President Barack Obama’s trip to Asia in April brought a number of important developments for the region’s evolving geopolitics, including a landmark agreement to expand the U.S. military’s rotational footprint in the Philippines and the first-ever presidential commitment that Washington’s security treaty with Tokyo extends to Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by China.
Dennis Blair (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Dennis Blair: China containing itself by aggressive actions in region
The former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said the United States is not trying to contain China, but that Beijing is “containing itself” through its aggressive behavior, which is forcing other countries in the region to band together against it.
Irene Hirano Inouye (Provided by Irene Hirano Inouye)
POINT OF VIEW/ Irene Hirano Inouye: Japanese Americans can be bridge between U.S., Japan
The rise of China has led some to believe that the United States has begun to make light of Japan, but that is an overly simplified view. Japanese Americans can play a crucial role in bridging relations between the United States and Japan. As an American of Japanese descent born in the United States, I want to broaden the relationship of other Asian Americans and women to Japan, ensuring a broad mutual understanding.
Michael Green, vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Michael Green: Concerns about China's rise boost support for U.S. rebalance to Asia
A top Asia expert at an influential Washington-based think tank said an overwhelming number of “strategic elites” in the Asia-Pacific region support the U.S. rebalance policy because they are concerned about China's growing influence.
Kenichi Matsumoto (Photo by Ken Aso)
INTERVIEW/ Kenichi Matsumoto: Japan should revise Constitution to defend itself in new era
In the name of strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, the Abe administration has begun walking the path toward allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

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