Probing explorations from a Japanese perspective of the nation's politics and economy, international affairs, and other aspects of a changing world.

Aging Consumers Reshaping Japanese Market

The graying of Japanese society has progressed to the point where nearly 27% of the population is now aged 65 or older. While an expanding elderly market is creating new business opportunities, concerns about old-age insolvency are also spreading. This series presents a portrait of Japan’s hyper-aged society through consumption data for the elderly, their diversifying needs, and the distribution industry’s strategies in the senior market.

Tapping the Potential of Japan’s Senior Consumers
Consumption Patterns of Japan’s Elderly

Other reports

Seventieth Anniversary Statement

The world nervously held its breath as Prime Minister Abe prepared to deliver his war anniversary statement. His final choice of wording is analyzed by domestic scholars who helped shape his message as well as by foreign experts.

Interpreting Abe’s War Anniversary Statement

Japanese Women Today

Japan ranked 104th out of 142 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, finishing behind the majority of developed nations. While political and economic advancement for women remain at a standstill, increasing nonregular employment and a greater number of single mothers mean that inequality is on the rise. This series examines the range of factors that hold Japanese women back from achieving their potential.

The Birth of Culinary Experts and the Evolving Needs of Japanese Housewives
Role Playing: Persona Building and Female Stars of Japanese Pornography
The All Japan Obachan Party: A Political Voice for Middle-Aged Women
The Plight of Japan’s Single Mothers
Japanese Women Face Tough Reality in Work and Marriage

Corporate Governance: Can Japanese Business Adapt to a New Era?

In June this year, the Financial Services Agency and the Tokyo Stock Exchange released a Corporate Governance Code, touting principles like “disclosure” and “transparency.” A few weeks later, the CEO of Toshiba resigned over a massive accounting scandal stretching back years. Can Japanese business restore faith in the stock market while meeting the challenges of nimble and responsible corporate governance?

In Pursuit of Good Governance: An Interview with Murakami Aya of C&I Holdings
Toshiba Accounting Scandal Highlights Issues in Corporate Governance
Toward a Multi-Stakeholder Model of Corporate Governance

Examining Okinawa Today

Seven decades after some of the bloodiest fighting of the Pacific War, Okinawa remains a battleground. Now, however, Japan and the United States are on the same side, and the prefectural government of Okinawa is fighting both of them on behalf of local residents fed up with the US military presence. In this series we look at the escalating standoff over the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a historical, political, and security perspective.

Thinking about Okinawa (3): The Regional Security Context
Thinking about Okinawa (2): The Widening Perception Gap
Thinking about Okinawa (1): A Historical Perspective on the US Military Presence
The Okinawa Issue and East Asian Security
Okinawan Identity and the Struggle for Self-Determination

The Value of a Vote and the Bicameral System

Given the wide disparity in the comparative weight of individual votes across Japan’s electoral districts, pressure is growing to reform the House of Councillors before the next election in July 2016. Is there truly a need to eliminate vote disparities? And what is the rightful role of the upper house in a bicameral system?

Weighing Vote Disparity in Japan’s Upper House
The Case for Equal Representation in the Upper House
Clock Ticking Down on Upper House Reform
The Rightful Role of the House of Councillors

A Four-Year Recovery Review

More than four years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011. The revitalization effort has entered a make-or-break phase. This series draws on objective data, updates on support measures for tsunami orphans, and local reportage to present a progress report on life in the disaster-hit areas.

Rebuilding Onagawa
A Tōhoku Town Returns to Life
No Way Home: The Inescapable Plight of One Fukushima Community
I Am Fukushima
Earthquake Orphans’ Hard Road to Emotional Healing

Manga and Anime as the Japan Brand

Manga like One Piece, Naruto, and Doraemon and anime from houses including Studio Ghibli have won fans around the world. This series examines the true reach of this success and examines the world of Japanese anime production from different aspects.

Nature and Asian Pluralism in the Work of Miyazaki Hayao
Children of Sailor Moon: The Evolution of Magical Girls in Japanese Anime
How Can Anime Build on its Past Success?
Naruto’s Limits: What Soft Power Can Actually Achieve

Japan’s Welfare Policies at the Crossroads

How can a fiscally strapped Japan guarantee a basic standard of living for its citizens in the face of rapid demographic aging and growing disparities in income? In this series we explore some of the social security and welfare challenges facing Japanese society today.

Work-Centered Welfare for the Twenty-First Century
Policy Fixes Needed for Japan’s Elderly Women
Two-Tiered Employment System Hinders Effective Use of Over-60s
Wrestling with Poverty and Income Inequality

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