Series Archive

  • Kōno Yōhei, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone in Japan’s constitutional history (2003–09), laments the irresponsible attitude of the country’s political leadership and looks to the past for hints on how to overcome the gridlock currently crippling the Diet.

    Japan’s Politicians Lack Humility

    Kōno Yōhei, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone in Japan’s constitutional history (2003–09), laments the irresponsible attitude of the country’s political leadership and looks to the past for hints on how to overcome the gridlock currently crippling the Diet.

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  • Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, finds the nickname “Teflon Kan” appropriate for Prime Minister Kan Naoto in light of his survival of a no-confidence measure to hold on to power. Although Kan’s political maneuvers may have won him more time, Japan is losing out under his inept leadership.

    “Teflon Kan” Survives, but Will Japan?

    Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, finds the nickname “Teflon Kan” appropriate for Prime Minister Kan Naoto in light of his survival of a no-confidence measure to hold on to power. Although Kan’s political maneuvers may have won him more time, Japan is losing out under his inept leadership.

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  • An agreement has been reached to extend the current Diet session and Prime Minister Kan Naoto has reshuffled his cabinet. But as long as he refuses to announce a date for his resignation, the chaos that is paralyzing Japanese politics will only get worse, argues Masuzoe Yōichi.

    A Prime Minister on Life Support

    An agreement has been reached to extend the current Diet session and Prime Minister Kan Naoto has reshuffled his cabinet. But as long as he refuses to announce a date for his resignation, the chaos that is paralyzing Japanese politics will only get worse, argues Masuzoe Yōichi.

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  • Czech researcher Petra Karlova sees energy conservation as a major task to be tackled as a nation—but also as something to be undertaken, and considered carefully, by individuals. The lessons that each of us takes away from this will impact the shape of the future that we create in the course of recovery.

    Personal Lessons in Conservation

    Czech researcher Petra Karlova sees energy conservation as a major task to be tackled as a nation—but also as something to be undertaken, and considered carefully, by individuals. The lessons that each of us takes away from this will impact the shape of the future that we create in the course of recovery.

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  • Three months after the nuclear disaster struck Fukushima Prefecture, residents of areas near the crippled nuclear power station remain evacuees. Fuke Yasunobu, managing director of Fukushima Broadcasting, says that the time has come to seriously ponder the challenges the prefecture faces as it travels the steep road toward recovery.

    At the Three-Month Point: Doubts About the Future

    Three months after the nuclear disaster struck Fukushima Prefecture, residents of areas near the crippled nuclear power station remain evacuees. Fuke Yasunobu, managing director of Fukushima Broadcasting, says that the time has come to seriously ponder the challenges the prefecture faces as it travels the steep road toward recovery.

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  • Fukiura Tadamasa, who has been involved in international disaster relief activities, notes the outpouring of aid from Taiwan since the earthquake in March, which has further improved Japanese people’s feelings toward Taiwan. He suggests Japan show its appreciation by supporting fuller Taiwanese participation in international institutions.

    Showing Our Gratitude to Taiwan

    Fukiura Tadamasa, who has been involved in international disaster relief activities, notes the outpouring of aid from Taiwan since the earthquake in March, which has further improved Japanese people’s feelings toward Taiwan. He suggests Japan show its appreciation by supporting fuller Taiwanese participation in international institutions.

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  • As Japan emerged from the misery of the immediate postwar period, Arnold Toynbee’s view that civilizations advance only by responding to challenge was widely popular in Japan. Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, argues that today’s Japan faces a “Toynbee moment” that requires nothing short of national transformation.

    Japan’s “Toynbee Moment”

    As Japan emerged from the misery of the immediate postwar period, Arnold Toynbee’s view that civilizations advance only by responding to challenge was widely popular in Japan. Taniguchi Tomohiko, former Foreign Ministry deputy press secretary, argues that today’s Japan faces a “Toynbee moment” that requires nothing short of national transformation.

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  • Prime Minister Kan Naoto’s incompetent leadership at home and abroad is damaging Japan’s national interest. The time has come for the Japanese people to face up to the seriousness of the situation they are in and boot this blundering government out of office, writes economist Nariai Osamu.

    Japan’s Government of Fools: Enough is Enough

    Prime Minister Kan Naoto’s incompetent leadership at home and abroad is damaging Japan’s national interest. The time has come for the Japanese people to face up to the seriousness of the situation they are in and boot this blundering government out of office, writes economist Nariai Osamu.

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  • The dividing line between “natural disasters” and man-made ones is not always as clear-cut as people like to think, argues Japan Foundation President Ogoura Kazuo. Human actions are sometimes implicated even in what we think of as purely natural catastrophes.

    Natural Disasters and Man-Made Disasters

    The dividing line between “natural disasters” and man-made ones is not always as clear-cut as people like to think, argues Japan Foundation President Ogoura Kazuo. Human actions are sometimes implicated even in what we think of as purely natural catastrophes.

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  • International misgivings about Japan are on the rise following a spate of gaffes by Prime Minister Kan Naoto. Although the prime minister has now announced his intention to stand down, Japanese politics will continue in a state of chaos until he reveals a clear timetable for his resignation, says Masuzoe Yōichi.

    Kan Survives Vote of No-Confidence, but the Chaos Continues

    International misgivings about Japan are on the rise following a spate of gaffes by Prime Minister Kan Naoto. Although the prime minister has now announced his intention to stand down, Japanese politics will continue in a state of chaos until he reveals a clear timetable for his resignation, says Masuzoe Yōichi.

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