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“Asahi Shimbun” Coverage of the Comfort Women Issue Through the Years

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.

Japan’s Foreign Policy Options Following Asahi’s “Comfort Women” RetractionTōgō Kazuhiko

What can the Japanese government do to resolve the comfort women issue? Blaming fabricated media reports will do little to change international opinion. Its only choice is to achieve reconciliation with former comfort women while they are still alive.

Timeline for September 2014

Japan’s second-highest active volcano erupts, causing dozens of fatalities, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Japan, and Nishikori Kei reaches the US Open Tennis Championships final. Here are the main news stories for September 2014.

Talking with the Dead Through Invisible GriefWakamatsu Eisuke

The road to true reconstruction in the disaster-stricken Tōhoku region can be opened by conversing and living together with the dead there. Wakamatsu Eisuke, a literary critic acclaimed for his writings on the living and the dead, holds that talking about the existence of the dead is a must if we are to get on with life in the world after the 3/11 disaster.

The Diversity Deficit: How Japanese Corporate Recruitment Has Failed to Move with the TimesYasui Takayuki

Crowds of young people, somewhat ill-at-ease in their matching black suits, are a common sight at this time of year in the business districts of Tokyo. The height of the spring recruitment season is upon us again, and another batch of young hopefuls is on the hunt for job offers that will see them enter the workforce in April 2013. But in the tough economic climate that has prevailed since the L…

The Limits of Putin’s LeadershipHakamada Shigeki

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is set to assume Russia’s top office once again following his resounding victory in the March 4 presidential election. Russia watcher Hakamada Shigeki offers his forecast for the political climate in the country and for Japan-Russia relations under the new Putin regime.

What Does the Future Hold for Japanese Automakers?Yasui Takayuki

The malaise affecting the Japanese manufacturing sector is often attributed to “six hardships,” among them the galloping yen and heavy corporate taxes. All of Japan’s major electronics manufacturers, including Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp, are set to post losses for the current fiscal year. But what about the automobile industry—the mainstay of the Japanese economy? At first glance, the situation lo…

Can Japan’s Economy and Politics Withstand a Heavier Burden?Yasui Takayuki

Japan’s mountains of public debt cannot be resolved without increasing the burden on ordinary taxpayers. But how? Finding a way to do this without upsetting the electorate is the major political and economic challenge for Japan in the first half of 2012. The road ahead will not be easy. The fiscal crisis engulfing the world’s leading economies, sparked by the crisis in the euro zone, is threateni…

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