Articles on Japan

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Hands up if you love synchronised swimming. EPA/Christopher Jue

The Olympics go downtown for Tokyo 2020

It is Tokyo, after all. It was nearly 6am when a few thousand supporters gathered at Komazawa stadium, one of the key venues for Tokyo’s 1964 games, exploded in celebration as International Olympic Committee…
Few countries have pushed forward with nuclear power programmes after Fukushima. Tim Ireland/PA

Fukushima’s positive legacy

Just over two years after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in eastern Japan in March 2011, public attitudes worldwide remain hardened against nuclear power. It may have fallen from the…
Mind the gap: Japanese school girls were covered but not the boys. Flickr/thecrypt

Vaccination gaps led to rubella outbreaks in Japan and Poland

Recent rubella outbreaks in Japan and Poland are the clearest evidence possible that herd immunity matters. There are many reasons why people don’t get vaccinated for totally preventable diseases such…
Science or slaughter? EPA/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

On law, science and whales: the case of Australia v Japan

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) meets this week to begin hearing its most prominent case in years. It pits two heavyweights, Australia and Japan, against each other in a legal and political dispute…
The finer points of Abenomics are not lost on this guy. ippei-janine

Japan’s PM has frog in throat as ecological crisis looms

Japanese PM Shinzō Abe has a problem, and he might end up killing an awful lot of frogs to solve it. Shares are up in Japan, but everything else has flatlined: kick-starting the stubbornly moribund economy…
Japanese women: needed in the workforce. Byron Villegas

Despite ‘Abenomic’ growth, Japan still needs reform

Amid the doom and gloom of recent world economic reports, Japan has provided a rare source of good news. In the first quarter of the year, its economy grew by 0.9%, indicating an annual growth rate of…
The decision by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to enter into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations enlivens the process and places Australia in the passenger seat.

Trans-Pacific Partnership at the frontlines of new geo-economic contests

Two recent events promise to breath life into the lumbering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, with significant consequences for Australia. Earlier this month, Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo…
Australian policymakers need to acquaint themselves with the changing nature of regional governance in Asia. www.shutterstock.com

The changing face of Asian regional governance

The growing competition between Japan and China over regional primacy is changing the face of Asian regional governance — but not necessarily in predictable ways. While observers have focused on Asia’s…
Meet a minke whale: should Japan be allowed to continue taking whales in the name of science? Len2040/Flickr

Australia takes Japan to court on whaling – where to now?

From June 26 to July 6 2013 one of the most intriguing environmental court cases in years will be heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Australia has taken Japan to court over…
Resource issues dominate Japanese thinking on the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship. AAP

Resource security and the Australia-Japan economic relationship

The Australia-Japan economic relationship is broad, deep, and has an extensive history. However, issues to do with natural resources – minerals, energy and food – loom large in the politics of the contemporary…
Shinzo Abe is determined to resuscitate Japan’s flagging economy by targeting a 2% rate of inflation and promoting private investment. But will it work? AAP

‘Abenomics’: a fix for Japan’s ailing economy and a boost for Australia

The Japanese economy has been stuck in a liquidity trap for almost a decade. Japan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is now in his second stint in office, wants to take radical steps to retrieve…
Minami Minegishi, member of Japanese pop group AKB48, made a tearful public apology on AKB48’s YouTube channel. YouTube

AKB48, headshaving and the sexual politics of J-Pop

Japanese pop star Minami Minegashi made headlines worldwide after shaving her head and making an dramatic public apology on Youtube for violating her pop group AKB48’s strict no dating policy. While shocking…
Japanese anti-nuclear sentiment is strong, but it’s losing out to the desire for cheap electricity. Magnus von Koeller

Japan can’t afford to leave nuclear power switched off

Recent data shows Japan posted a record high trade deficit of ¥6.93tn (A$73.16bn) in 2012. Japan is struggling with rising imports as it tries to replace the energy lost when it shut down of most of its…
Shinzo Abe has returned to the post of prime minister in Japan. m-louis/Flickr

In Japan, it’s bring in the old, turf out the new

I thought for a breathless moment back in 2009 that we would see a new progressive government in Japan. Gone would be almost six decades of unimaginative conservative rule. Gone would be the subservience…
Sea Shepherd has just launched its new ship, the Sam Simon, but it might not see much action if a US court has its way. AAP Image/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Carolina Castro

US court harpoons whaling protesters

On Monday a US federal appeals court granted an injunction requiring the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stay at least “500 yards” (457 metres) away from Japanese whaling vessels. It is a significant…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image www.shutterstock.com

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…

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