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

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Share of Working Moms Hits Record-High 68%Japan Data

The Survey of Living Conditions compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that 68.1% of Japanese mothers with children under 18 years old were gainfully employed in 2015. The rate, the highest since the survey began monitoring working mothers in 2004, reflects an increase in the number of single mothers and overall growth in women’s workforce participation.

Connecting with IndiaSymposium Reports

In May 2016, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation welcomed India’s C. Raja Mohan to Japan as part of its invitation program for Asian opinion leaders to encourage international exchange on a personal level.

Free Apps for Studying JapaneseJapan Data

There are many free smartphone apps available for learning Japanese. This article introduces some of the better options.

The Volunteer Care Network Supporting Rural Thai AreasAging in Japan and Across AsiaTakeuchi Yukifumi

The aging of society continues across Asia. Japan leads the trend, but other Asian countries are close behind, just like geese flying in formation. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is aging at a rate exceeded only by Singapore. Takeuchi Yukifumi looks at current care practices in rural Thailand.

Japanese Firms Accelerate Outbound Mergers and AcquisitionsJapan Data

Outbound mergers and acquisitions by Japanese companies are trending at high levels, marking all-time highs in both number and value in 2015. This was followed in 2016 by SoftBank’s acquisition of ARM Holdings, a UK-based chip designer. Faced with stagnant demand in the home market, many Japanese companies are looking to benefit from the growth of foreign economies by accelerating their outbound deals.

A Venerable Family Business Built on Tea and PaperBusinesses Made in NipponKikuchi Masanori

The Ejima family has been selling Japanese paper and green tea in the castle town of Odawara, outside Tokyo, for over three centuries. During that time the retailers have bounced back from adversity on several occasions, emerging each time stronger than before.

Japanese Amusement ParksJapan Glances

A look at some of Japan’s most popular amusement parks, including retro charms and thrilling roller coasters.

Beyond Funding: Responsible Execution of US-Japan Exchange ProgramsGlobal PartnershipsSharon Stirling /Kazuyo Kato

Strong relations between nations depend on more than just friendly ties at the leadership level. Grassroots exchange is an essential means of forming strong foundations for a lasting relationship. In this essay the authors recommend ways to enhance exchange programs to ensure their impact, value, and success.

Convenience Stores in JapanJapan Glances

Japanese convenience stores—known as konbini—offer food, drink, and daily products as well as a wide range of services, including allowing customers to pay utility bills, buy event tickets, and pick up delivery items.

Timeline for August 2016Japan Timeline

Emperor Akihito expresses a desire to abdicate in a video message and Japan wins a record number of medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. These are the leading news stories of August 2016.

The Article 9 Debate at a GlanceJapan Data

The escalating debate over amendment of the Japanese Constitution centers on the war-renouncing provisions of Article 9. Here we provide a concise outline of the key issues and positions in the Article 9 debate.

Ibasho House: A Communal Place in an Aging Local CommunityAging in Japan and Across AsiaTanaka Yasuhiro

Located in Ōfunato, Iwate Prefecture, one of the areas worst affected by the 3/11 disaster, Ibasho House is a place where the elderly contribute to their local community. The aim is to create ways for people to participate in society in a dignified manner, whatever their age.

Barrier-Free Design in JapanJapan Glances

Transportation hubs such as airports and train stations as well as public facilities are being fitted with wheelchair-accessible restrooms, tactile flooring, and other design features to increase their accessibility. Such efforts to make Japan increasingly barrier free have gained momentum ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and include installing level landings to improve access to sidewalks and equipping public facilities with elevators and ramps.

Japan’s Olympics: 2016 Medalists and Historic Medal TotalsJapan Data

Japanese athletes won a record 41 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This article lists all the medal winners as well as Japan’s medal totals for past Summer Olympics.

The Science Behind Frixion Erasable PensThe Frontiers of Science

Pilot’s Frixion series of groundbreaking erasable-ink pens became international bestsellers following their launch in 2006. Frixion products have now sold a total of 1.5 billion units worldwide.

Hansen’s Disease in Japan: The Lingering Legacy of DiscriminationPromoting Inclusion of People with Hansen’s Disease

Twenty years have passed since the repeal of the law mandating isolation of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) patients in Japan. The government has recognized the injustice of the isolation policy and has moved to compensate the victims, but many former patients and family members still sense discrimination and prejudice.

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