The year 2014 was full of unexpected events, but none helped to jolt Japan's economy, politics or society out of a sense of being stalled.
The Occupy Central movement that shut down the heart of Hong Kong for 79 days over the demand for greater democracy in the Special Administrative Region is over. But the impulses that drove the movement have not disspated.
Earlier this month, our 15-year-old dog died, leaving our household grieving and heartbroken. Readers may recall that in August my two dogs saved me from a bear in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, barking and chasing it off after it had swiped my head and arm. ...
While the world's attention focuses on North Korea's cyberwar with Sony Pictures, the Hermit Kingdom is rapidly increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons material, with real little pushback from the U.S.
An education ministry council could be presenting an over-idealized picture of its proposed reforms of Japan's university entrance exams, often criticized for placing too much emphasis on rote learning.
Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2, launched by Japan Space Exploration Agency on Dec. 5, is flying without a hitch so far. Regardless of whether this mission is successful, Japan needs to continue advancing its space exploration capabilities.
A Sapporo university's decision to retain an instructor in the face of rightist threats is a victory for freedom of expression and other fundamental democratic rights.
Newly reelected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shouldn't view his recent election victory as a vote of confidence in his economic policies.
A Japanese civic group survey has the ruling Liberal Democratic Party standing out from other parties in its failure to view issues involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people as human rights problems.
As the Abe administration pushes to restart idled nuclear power plants that have cleared safety screening, the question of which local governments should also have a say in whether a plant may restart remains open.
A decision should be made soon on whether design changes are necessary to the new National Stadium planned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so that it conforms to the international Olympic spirit and stands as a legacy that future generations can be proud of.
The surprise U.S.-Cuba agreement to end a 50-year U.S. embargo that had failed to accomplish any of its stated objectives could bring about the long-sought liberalization of the island 150 km off the Florida coast.
Representatives from diverse religious faiths have signed a declaration of their collective will to end modern-day slavery by 2020. Is this a first step toward removing one of the most heinous practices in human history?
A newly released study finds that the problem of plastic in the ocean is worse than previously believed and that once the plastic enters the food chain, it doesn't disappear.
Sony's corporate headquarters seemed to view the hacking drama related to its film "The Interview," which lampoons North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as mostly an American problem. The attack exposed a disturbing lack of cyber-preparedness on Sony's part.
The strength of the U.S. economy stands in stark contrast to what is happening in the eurozone and Japan, and the resulting divergence will be accompanied by opposing monetary-policy responses.
When Facebook has already blocked an announcement inviting Muscovites to attend a January rally in support of an anti-corruption activist, imagine what it would do — or, for all we know, has already done — for the U.S. government.
As growing economic autonomy among American women reshapes breadwinning and gender roles, it's getting tough out there for tough guys. So it doesn't take much imagination to grasp the appeal of holding a gun to some men.
Settlement policies, military actions and now the Israeli national election in March and the U.S. elections in 2016 threaten to isolate Israel totally from the world of democracies.
Some critics insist that ASEAN members vary too widely in terms of economic development to create a smoothly functioning manufacturing entity. But ASEAN, unlike the European Union, is not trying to form a monetary union.
Simply put, Japan is a bankrupt nation, even as gross domestic product outgrows that of the U.S. economy on a per capita basis.