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Japan’s Dilemma

Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force is making preparations to send a fleet oiler to the Indian Ocean next month to refuel and resupply coalition warships in an operation that has been suspend... Read More...
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Tokyo Can’t Buy Beijing’s Love

After what has been described as a "historic meeting" between Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda with officials in Beijing this week to mark the 30-year-old signing of the Japan China Treaty o... Read More...
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Death of a Journalist

Kenji Nagai It was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on September 27. Japanese cameraman Kenji Nagai was lying on his back on a street in Rangoon. Then there was the piercing s... Read More...
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The Day the Stars Fell on Tokyo

The telephones are still ringing in Tokyo's top restaurants three weeks after Michelin published its first Asian dining guide, Tokyo Guide, 2008, and awarded the city nearly three times as ... Read More...
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Tokyo’s ‘Human Accidents’

“We regret to inform you that this train has been delayed by a human accident.” I boarded the train at Kichijoji Station on the Chuo (Main) Line around 6 pm to go downtown for my regular... Read More...
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Ginza Gets its Groove Back

After years of stagnation, Tokyo’s famed Ginza shopping area is undergoing an extraordinary renaissance. Ten years ago the area seemed to be in danger of dying. The large department stores, such as the Mitsukoshi and Matsuzakaya, that u... Read More...
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Japan’s Refueling Debate Reheated

Once again Japan is embroiled in one of those hair-splitting arguments over the extent to which it can participate in overseas military operations without bending its constitution and its war-renouncing A... Read More...
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The Short, Unhappy Life of Shinzo Abe

If he had waited just two more weeks to resign, Shinzo Abe could at least have rounded out a full year as Japan’s prime minister. Instead, he seems destined to join the large number of pr... Read More...
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Japan’s Democracy Comes of Age

Photo by Andrew James A slow motion political evolution that commenced some 15 years ago in Japan is beginning to bear fruit. The long quest to transform the country into a competitive, two-party democracy is closer to realization than some, i... Read More...
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Down the Hatch

“Hatch for unwanted babies.” It is a headline over the kind of weird story that sometimes seems to be a Japanese specialty. But it actually could mean a lot about the ex... Read More...