Probing explorations from a Japanese perspective of the nation's politics and economy, international affairs, and other aspects of a changing world.
- Parliamentary Democracy in Japan
With the Liberal Democratic Party’s strong performance in the House of Councillors election in July this year, the political stage seems set for a period of stability that could last up to three years, barring dissolution of the House of Representatives. During the period up to the next general election, to be held no later than December 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō will aim to maintain a solid grip on the tiller. But do Japan’s parliamentary systems pose any threats to this stability?
- Yasukuni Shrine and Japan’s War Dead
Yasukuni Shrine was founded in 1869 as a place for the repose of the souls of Japan’s war dead. In recent decades its role as a focus for historical controversy has overshadowed this, though. In this series we examine the debate over the shrine and Japan’s remembrance of the dead.
- The Prospects for Abe’s Growth Strategy
Nearly a year has passed since Abe Shinzō took the reins of power once again. Following his Liberal Democratic Party’s victory in the July 2013 upper house election, his “Abenomics” economic policy appears to have gained increasing public support. But has it shown results? This series examines whether the Abe growth strategy, the so-called third arrow in the Abenomics quiver, will make itself felt.
- Japan and Taiwan: Diplomacy Without Diplomats
Japan and Taiwan have had no official diplomatic relations since 1972. Instead, citizens on both sides have taken the lead in building a strong relationship of friendship and trust.
Japanese Artists in Taiwan: A Reciprocal Love Affair
Taiwan’s Complicated Love Affair With Japan
Japan and Taiwan: Officially Strangers, Unofficially Friends
Former Child Workers from Taiwan Preserve the Memory of Their Time in Japan
- Studying Japanese
Increasing numbers of people around the world are studying Japanese—some 3.65 million in 2009. What makes them want to study Japanese, and what do they hope to gain from their studies? What are the issues and obstacles they face? We take a look at the state of Japanese language study around the world today.
How I Learned Japanese: The Series of Coincidences that Brought Me to Japan
How I Learned Japanese: The Freedom of the Non-Native Speaker
How I Learned Japanese: Television and “Manga”
How I Learned Japanese: Putting the Language to Actual Use
“Studying Japanese”: Introduction
- Abenomics: The First 100 Days
April 4, 2013 marked 100 days since Abe Shinzō’s return to office. With many people hoping that the prime minister’s “Abenomics” policies will succeed in lifting the country out of its deflationary spiral, we look back at the government’s first 100 days in office and consider some of the issues for the years ahead.