Taniguchi Tomohiko
  • Taniguchi Tomohiko 
  • By this author: 10 Latest posted: 2012.12.31
Born in 1957. Graduated from the University of Tokyo. Was editor of Nikkei Business before serving as deputy press secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Has been a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Princeton, a visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, and a special guest professor at Keiō University, as well as a member of the Nippon.com editorial committee from 2011 to 2013. Publications include Tsūka moyu: En, gen, doru, yūro no dōjidaishi (Currency Drama: A Contemporary History of the Yen, Yuan, Dollar, and Euro).
Three Ways to Boost Japan’s Diplomatic PR Power—For (Almost) Nothing!2012.12.31

“Japanese diplomacy lacks clout. We’re failing to make ourselves heard in the international community.” How many times have I heard these and similar complaints in the course of 2012? A look at our neighbors only underlines the feebleness of Japan’s efforts. Last year China’s Xinhua news agency bought advertising space in New York’s Times Square, while a lecture hall in the Woodrow Wilson School a…

A US Strategist Speaks on Japan’s Leadership and Energy Policy Needs2012.12.28

In early November 2012, Abe Shinzō, president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, was announcing that his party would reactivate Japan’s nuclear power plants if it returned to power. This was in response to Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko’s announcement of a plan to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s. On November 7, Nippon.com editorial board member Taniguchi Tomohiko spoke to John Ha…

Japan and the Geopolitics of the Shale Revolution2012.12.27

The “shale revolution” offers the promise of energy independence for the United States and another energy option for Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But Taniguchi Tomohiko argues that it could also have perilous repercussions—political as well as economic—for which Japan must prepare itself by “thinking about the unthinkable.”

Abe Shinzō’s Comeback and Japan’s Outbound M&A2012.11.02

Apparently, someone has taken the time to count all the Japanese books with titles alluding in some way to the “ruin” of Japan—and the number of such titles is astounding. I recall that this same person wrote that, with all of these dire predictions about Japan’s future, it is strange that the country has managed to survive, nevertheless. Perhaps as a result of this habit of viewing Japan’s prosp…

Ozawa Becomes History, While Noda Makes It2012.08.06

Just over a month ago a weekly magazine carried a story reporting scandals involving Ozawa Ichirō. A letter said to have been written by Ozawa’s wife revealed two bombshells: One was that he had fathered a child out of wedlock and had made his lover raise this child. The second was a serious revelation relating to his qualifications as a politician, namely, that in the wake of the Great East Japan…

MEXT: What is it Good For?2012.06.15

Japan's education policy is in a perennial state of disarray. Education from kindergarten to graduate school is subject to constant tinkering reforms by the cumbersomely named Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, or MEXT for short. Each new intervention adds to the mountain of incomprehensible and counterintuitive regulations, and with each reform the quality of educati…

The Crisis in North Korea and the Challenge for NHK World (Part Three)2012.02.01

So is NHK World likely to become a major source of information for global viewers on events unfolding in Asia? Regrettably, I am afraid the answer has to be no. To back up this assertion, let me offer the contrasting example of Al Jazeera English. Al Jazeera English started out in November 2006 as a new editorial division separate from the Arabic network, with a full lineup of talent lured away…

The Crisis in North Korea and the Challenge for NHK World (Part Two)2012.01.27

In part one of this article I explained the background to the decision to establish a Japan-based, English-language broadcasting organ like CNN. Based on the consensus that such a broadcaster was necessary, Japan International Broadcasting Inc. (JIB) was established in April 2008. But today, nearly four years later, the original goals and guiding vision of this organization have been abandoned, …

The Crisis in North Korea and the Challenge for NHK World (Part One)2012.01.19

The looming crisis in North Korea represents a crucial make-or-break test for NHK World, Japan’s sole English-language news broadcasting system. (*) When hydrogen explosions struck reactors at the crippled Nuclear Power Station in aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami last March, news broadcasters around the world had no choice but to use the images distributed by NHK World, given the nature …

Remembering 19512011.10.03

Sixty years ago, on September 8, 1951, Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru delivered an address in San Francisco. Since it is short, let me quote it in full: I am happy that this Japanese-American Security Pact has been concluded this afternoon on the heels of the signing of a Japanese peace treaty this morning. That treaty gives Japan the key for re-entering the community of nations as a sovereign…

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