Comprehensive series of articles on themes too broad or complex to be addressed in a single post.

Feature series

Latest articles

Canned CoffeeJapan Glances

Enjoying a coffee break in Japan does not require a trip to a café, but can be done easily and inexpensively by purchasing a can of coffee. A wide selection of flavors and styles of this popular drink are available from vending machines and stores.

Creating “Seamless” Security Legislation for JapanTalking About Security

The Abe administration has drawn up security legislation aimed at dealing “seamlessly” with situations ranging from peacetime to contingencies. What will change? And how about revision of the Constitution? We interviewed Iwaya Takeshi, chair of the LDP’s Research Commission on Security.

Japanese High-Tech ToiletsJapan Glances

Japan’s electronic toilets transform a normal trip to the restroom into a high-tech cultural experience by combining cutting edge technology with a Japanese sense of cleanliness. A wide variety of models and functions are available, winning fans for the appliance both in Japan and abroad.

Abu Dhabi’s Black Gold—and More—Lures Japan to the United Arab EmiratesJapan Data

Japanese company INPEX recently secured a new 40-year contract for an Abu Dhabi oil concession, helping to maintain a steady oil supply for Japan. And the Middle East and North Africa region is also drawing interest, for its fast economic growth and the size of its potential future market, tempered with wariness at the civil wars and terrorism that wrack the area.

Vending MachinesJapan Glances

It seems like you’re never far from a vending machine in Japan. The convenient points of sale come in innumerable varieties, providing food, drink, and more.

AkihabaraJapan Glances

The Akihabara district in Tokyo, once famous for electronics, is now a center for video games, anime, and other pop culture as well. Visitor will find maid cafés, cosplay devotees, and an abundance of specialty shops devoted to interests like figurines and manga.

Timeline for May 2015Japan Timeline

The volcano Shindake erupts on the southern island of Kuchinoerabujima, a plan to reform local government in Osaka is defeated, and debate over new security legislation begins in the Diet. These are the top Japanese stories for May 2015.

Centenarians in Japan: 50,000-Plus and GrowingJapan Data

Sales of adult diapers in Japan outsold those for infants in 2014, speaking volumes about the country’s plummeting birthrate and the rapid aging of society. A shrinking population and rising social security costs are also weighing heavily on the nation’s finances. These demographic challenges are beginning to encroach on emerging economies as well. What lessons will they learn from Japan’s experience?

“Kyōtei” (Boat Race)Japan Glances

The distinctive form of hydroplane racing called kyōtei is one of just a few types of gambling allowed under Japanese law. Proceeds from races are used to fund local municipalities and support the activities of nongovernmental organizations.

Japan’s Closed-Door Refugee PolicyJapan Data

Few nations are as generous as Japan in financing international relief efforts for persons displaced by war, civil strife, and natural disasters. Conversely, few nations are as miserly as Japan in providing physical asylum to refugees. Resolving this incongruity is a central issue for Japan in shaping a viable refugee policy.

Cheap and Delicious “B Gourmet”Japan Glances

Ramen, curry rice, and other unpretentious meals are described as “B gourmet” in Japan. These cheap eats may not be as sophisticated as the “A-class” dishes served at top restaurants, but aim to be every bit as tasty.

Japan’s School UniformsJapan Glances

In Japan, most schools have uniforms for their students. The distinctive, traditional outfits were originally inspired by military designs, but since the 1980s, new styles have emerged.

Boys’ DayJapan Glances

This traditional celebration of sons retains the trappings of its warrior-class roots, with swords, helmets, and other symbols of samurai culture ensuring that children grow up healthy and strong. Also known as tango no sekku, it is one of five seasonal holidays observed since ancient times.

Japanese GardensJapan Glances

Japan has developed many distinctive styles of garden over the years. Step inside to enjoy a moment of calm.

Timeline for April 2015Japan Timeline

Prime Minister Abe addresses the US Congress, the imperial couple visits World War II monuments in Palau, and a Japanese maglev train breaks the world speed record. These are the key Japanese news stories of April 2015.

“Asahi Shimbun” Coverage of the Comfort Women Issue Through the YearsJapan Data

On August 5, 2014, the Asahi Shimbun ran an article assessing its past coverage of the comfort women issue, admitting many factual errors including the 32-year-old testimony of Yoshida Seiji. What came to light through this article, however, was not so much the truth about comfort women as the mutually skewed debate in both Japan and South Korea, which share a peculiar postwar history.

Video highlights

New series


  • From the editor in chief
  • From our columnists
  • In the news