Japan’s Cruise Missile Plans Not Against Self-Defense Policy — Onodera

  In a morning press conference held on December 8th, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera officially announced plans to acquire funding for the procurement of a long-range cruise missile system for fighter aircraft in the 2018 draft budget.   The minister explained the reasoning behind this procurement, saying, “Given that they can be employed from beyond an […]

Will Japan Emerge as Champion of A Free and Open Indo-Pacific?

  Whether one considers Shinzo Abe’s decision to call a snap election in October and Donald Trump’s Asian trip in November successes or not, many Japanese and Americans believe, correctly in my view, that North Korea is the most immediate threat which cannot be ignored. However, China is the more serious medium to long-term concern that will […]

Japan’s Imperial Family and Britain’s Royals: A Tradition of Friendship and Understanding

Princess Kako began her studies at Leeds University in September    Ever since the Meiji restoration in 1868, the Japanese and British governments have seen the importance of good relations between the Japanese Imperial and British Royal houses. The two governments have taken every opportunity to cement the relationship, which has played an important role in […]

‘Why Would He Fumble Like This?’ Supercomputer Developer Motoaki Saito Arrested for Fraud

  On December 5th, Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrested Motoaki Saito, 49, president of “PEZY Computing” (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), and then director of business development, Daisuke Suzuki, 47, on suspicion of fraud.     Their company, known for having developed Gyoukou, the 4th fastest supercomputer in the world, are accused of defrauding the Ministry of […]

Manila’s Subway: Japan to Fund Southeast Asia’s ‘Project of the Century’

  Of Japan’s infrastructure, it is the subway that visiting Filipinos approve of the most: the technology, the mechanics, the efficiency. They will have one in Metro Manila in eight years, as the Japanese government is set to finance the Philippines’ first subway.   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed […]

Colors and Traditions at the Chichibu Night Festival

  The Chichibu Night Festival took place on December 3rd in Saitama’s Chichibu city, approximately 90 minutes north of central Tokyo. Starting from the Chichibu Shrine, men and women dressed in happi (traditional festival clothing) paraded four gorgeous and exquisite floats and two kasaboko (a float with willow-like fronds descending in a giant umbrella shape), […]

Japan Returns Rescued North Koreans, But Why Can’t It Get Abducted Citizens Back?

  The late Akira Yoshimura authored a short story called “The Captain Wept.” In it, the captain of a drifting fishing vessel writes his will as his crew continue to die one after another.   “Listen to what your father says. Do not become a fisherman, even when you grow older. Please become smart, for […]