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Major Makeover for the University Entrance SystemIsoda Fumio

Japan’s university entrance exam system and high school education are on the verge of undergoing a large-scale reform. Factors driving the reform include changes in the university student selection process, wrought by the declining birthrate, and awareness that the current system is not doing enough to prepare students for a global world.

The Prospects for Reform in Academic GovernanceUeyama Takahiro

Japanese universities are being called on to further reform their old-fashioned managerial style. What are the real barriers to academic reform? Keiō University Professor Ueyama Takahiro explores the question.

China—Shadow or Torch for Asia?Ogoura Kazuo

Recently, China‘s economic and military buildup has prompted much use of the terms “threat” and “deterrence” in the international community. Neighbouring countries in Asia, in particular, fear Chinese potential expansionism or its self-righteousness, characteristic of great powers. However, an important point tends to be overlooked: that China herself, having lived with the burden of invasion and …

The “Atomization” of Populations and the Rise of Sudden Protest MovementsOgoura Kazuo

In recent months, violent protests and demonstrations involving thousands of ordinary citizens have rocked cities around the world. These are not revolutionary movements to topple dictatorial regimes or protests against human rights abuses. Indeed, one of the most remarkable things about these recent uprisings is the way in which they begin apparently spontaneously and spread like wildfire to engu…

Japanese Companies Will Be Tested in 2013Hirai Takashi

Generally speaking, Japanese companies can be expected to perform robustly in 2013, for several reasons. First, the domestic business climate is likely to be favorable. The Liberal Democratic Party has returned to power, and while on the political front it must concentrate on the summer election for the House of Councillors, it plans to vigorously implement measures to stimulate the economy. The …

Japan and the Geopolitics of the Shale RevolutionTaniguchi Tomohiko

The “shale revolution” offers the promise of energy independence for the United States and another energy option for Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But Taniguchi Tomohiko argues that it could also have perilous repercussions—political as well as economic—for which Japan must prepare itself by “thinking about the unthinkable.”

Japanese Society Needs a Truly Global ApproachYasui Takayuki

Securing global talent capable of competing in global markets is a major challenge for Japanese industry. Business managers commonly complain that Japanese young people are inward-looking “herbivores” who are no longer interested in venturing out into the world beyond Japan. They claim that this puts Japan in a dangerous position at a time when global talent is in high demand, and call for more yo…

Beyond the Myth of the Economic SuperpowerTanaka Naoki

As the Japanese struggle to formulate a viable growth strategy for the twenty-first century, economic analyst Tanaka Naoki urges them to forget everything they were told about the sources of Japanese economic supremacy during the years of rapid growth.

Globalization and Citizen ProtestsOgoura Kazuo

Citizen protest movements are sweeping the world: from the wave of democratization that began with the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and spread across the Middle East, to widespread protests in China, mass demonstrations before and after the recent elections in Russia, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. The reasons for these movements differ from country to country. In some…

Higher Education and the Japanese DiseaseKariya Takehiko

In an age calling for an increasingly globalized workforce, there is widespread alarm about declining standards in the Japanese education sector. Where do the problems lie? Kariya Takehiko, a sociology professor who has taught at universities in Japan and England, analyzes the current situation.

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