Nation Marks Second Year Since Calamity

From Japan Times
Memorial and prayer services were held across Japan on Monday, which marked the second anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Tohoku’s coastline and left some 19,000 people dead or missing amid the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Strong ASEAN-Japan Ties Important to Global Stability

Partnership between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan must be enhanced far beyond economic means in anticipation of the ASEAN Community, set to be effective in 2015, when the region is expected to play a more determinant role in global security, say analysts.

Why Did Americans Donate $730 million to Wealthy Japan?

By Tom Paulson
A report by JCIE notes that Americans have given about $730 million to assist Japan in rebuilding and recovery from the 2011 tsunami. Many might be upset to learn that one rich nation donated so much to another rich nation when so many extremely poor countries and communities have bigger needs. Shouldn’t we have directed that money elsewhere?

Caregiver Trainee Program Coming Up Short, but Options on Table also Daunting

By Tomohiro Osaki
In an interview with JCIE’s managing director Toshihiro Menju, the role of foreign labor in Japan’s nursing care industry is discussed, along with how a promotion of long-term settlement could combat the exploitation and corruption inherent in this sector.

Japan Alone Cannot Guard or Sustain Peace

When one speaks of turmoil on the Korean Peninsula, it’s usually in reference to North Korea, not South Korea. But Itsunori Onodera, who stepped down as Japan’s defense minister in September 2014, has some concerns with Seoul’s “provocative” actions toward Pyongyang.

Does Japan’s Conservative Shinto Religion Support Gay Marriage?

In 1999, a Shinto priest unofficially married two men in a shrine in Kawasaki, an industrial city near Tokyo. Literally “the way of the gods,” Shinto is one of Japan’s major religions, but it does not influence modern Japanese life the way that Christianity dominates in the United States. Rather, it’s more a matter of a shared culture against which some people define themselves.

Etiquette and Rituals Rule in Japan’s Business Culture

At a dinner meeting in Tokyo recently, two Japanese professors, Ryo Sahashi and Satoru Mori, arrived and sat down at their booth. Even though it meant one of them would shortly have to get up to make room for one of their colleagues, who had yet to arrive, they left the middle seat between them empty.

How Japan Pushes Coal on the World

While the U.S. backs away from its dirtiest power source, its closest ally in Asia is building, selling and financing coal plants worldwide.

In Japan, Foreigners Increasingly Fill Workforce Gaps

By Lisa Du
Non-Japanese are taking a bigger role in powering Japan’s economy as a labor shortage impels the country to overcome its long-standing resistance to foreign workers. With hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled, businesses from noodle shops to auto-parts factories are squeezing every existing channel to get help.

Rebel Without a Country

Rebel Pepper, China’s most notorious political cartoonist, fled his native land for Japan. But life in exile is tougher than he expected.