Anti-Korean demonstrators march through Tokyo's Shin-Okubo district in February. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Naoto Higuchi: Japanese conservatives should break with the far right
The media often portray participants in discriminatory “hate speech” demonstrations as socially maladapted people seeking to vent their pent-up sentiments.
Onagawa town assembly member Mikiko Abe stands against the backdrop of Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s Onagawa nuclear power plant. (Yosuke Fukudome)
POINT OF VIEW/ Mikiko Abe: With nuclear plant idled, townsfolk in better position to chart future course
ONAGAWA, Miyagi Prefecture--As an opponent of atomic energy, I have watched this town for more than four decades--from before Tohoku Electric Power Co. began constructing the Onagawa nuclear power plant here.
Akira Kugiko holds up a photograph of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, devastated by the March 2011 tsunami. (Kazumasa Sugimura)
POINT OF VIEW/ Akira Kugiko: Public indifference to disaster preparedness worsened 2011 tsunami toll
RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--I began relating accounts of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami one year after the disaster, and I started my own storytelling business in spring last year under the name “Kugiko-ya.”
A new condominium complex in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Housing prices have been falling in China.
POINT OF VIEW/ Yuji Miura: How will China deal with falling housing prices?
China’s housing prices continue to plummet. To what extent can the reforms presented at the Third Plenum be realized without causing the economy to stall? The economic policies of the latter half of the year will surely test the mettle of the Xi Jinping-Li Keqiang administration.
David A. Welch (Provided by David A. Welch)
POINT OF VIEW/ David A. Welch: The dangerous false fear of Japanese militarism
Japan’s neighbors reacted surprisingly hysterically to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent move to loosen restrictions on the Self-Defense Forces so that they could engage in collective self-defense.
Akiko Iwasaki, owner of the Horaikan inn in Kamaishi (Masataka Yamaura)
POINT OF VIEW/ Akiko Iwasaki: Tsunami-ravaged Sanriku ready for ambitious pilot programs
KAMAISHI, Iwate Prefecture--I don’t think rebuilding from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011 can be easily accomplished in a decade.
Amy Searight (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Amy Searight: U.S. carries ‘no uncertainty’ about response to rise of China
The increasing rotational presence of the U.S. forces in Southeast Asia and Australia is not a substitute for a permanent presence but a critical building block of the U.S. rebalance to Asia, said a senior U.S. Defense Department official.
Murong Xuecun in Hong Kong (Photo by Gen Pau)
INTERVIEW/ Murong Xuecun: Internet main battlefield over free speech in China
HONG KONG--Beijing is intensifying efforts to regain its “turf” on the Internet, the main battlefield over free speech between authorities and citizens in China, according to a popular writer and influential blogger.
Takeshi Jingu (Provided by Nomura Research Institute)
POINT OF VIEW/ Takeshi Jingu: Risks, opportunities in China’s growing P2P lending market
In China, online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has been growing rapidly since around 2010. If the country’s P2P lending industry can successfully control risk while capitalizing on innovation, it should help alleviate chronic funding difficulties of small and midsize enterprises.
Morton H. Halperin (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Morton H. Halperin: Time to strike a comprehensive security deal in Northeast Asia
The security of Northeast Asia is threatened by North Korea’s apparent intention to continue developing, test and deploy nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and by its assertion that it is a nuclear weapon state.
Sun Ge in Beijing (Photo by Tamako Sado)
INTERVIEW/ Sun Ge: Unprejudiced curiosity is needed to mend Japan-China ties
BEIJING--Confrontation between Japan and China over the perception of their shared history continues to only deepen nearly 70 years after the end of World War II.
A shopping mall in New Delhi. India and other emerging economies were hit by the depreciation of their currencies last year. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
POINT OF VIEW/ Satoshi Shimizu: Asia’s response to expanding capital flows
Since 2000, there has been a fivefold expansion of the volume of capital flows into emerging economies, including those in Asia.
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.”

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