Japan: A Demographic Problem With Obivous Solutions

What could be scarier than imagining your entire culture collapsing? With the current demographic projections, this may be a reality for Japan in the not too distant future. Population decline, starting around the 1970s, has been steady and consistently troubling there. The widely accepted causes of this decline include very low birth rates, very long life expectancies, and a lack of foreign nationals living in the country.… [Read more]

Will the Pacific Become the New Middle East?

The old adage “generals always fight the last war, especially if they’ve won it” applies not only to the military and war, but to almost all aspects of human conflict and interaction, such as diplomacy. Paradigms often change right underneath the noses of so-called “experts” or policymakers.

In regards to foreign policy, in the late ’90s, while everyone was staring through the prism of the Soviet-U.S.… [Read more]

Skipping Rocks: the Quarrel Between Japan and China, and What it Means to America

As the New Year unfolds before us, we find ourselves falling off one rock and headed down toward another. We’re a bunch of Rockhounds, really, with an excellent collection going. While we’re busy arguing about the Fiscal Cliff, however, there are other dramas unfolding around the world.

Across East Asia there have been huge political changes following several important national elections this year.… [Read more]

Saving the National Rifle Association, and Protecting Americans

Despite the armchair psychology, while Newtown school mass murderer Adam Lanza was probably rather off upstairs, National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre isn’t a psychopath. He’s a million-dollar-a-year shill in a nice bespoke suit who seems to know which side of the toast the butter’s on.  His idea of a flannel outdoorsy shirt probably has a Brooks Brothers label.… [Read more]

With Vision on Long-Term Goals, Japanese Overwhelmingly Support Obama for Re-Election

Scrolling through the world and Asia news sections on CNN and NPR like I do most evenings, I came across a poll summary that was a refreshing change from what I usually spend my time scouring over. This poll was conducted by AFP-Ipsos, a Hong Kong-based think tank. The survey targeted two major economic forces with which we share incredibly important ties: China and Japan.… [Read more]

Allow Me To Introduce the “Green Tea Party”

There is an up-and-coming political group, deeply conservative and spawned from the power struggles of the last decade, gaining traction by stoking the fires of fiscal dissatisfaction and social frustration that are gaining more traction with the voting populace.

This party’s platform includes such charming planks as radical nationalism, anti-immigration reform, a belligerent distaste for taxes, and a blind eye to programs that help struggling school districts, unions, and recipients of social welfare.… [Read more]

Travel Log: Japan

Striving towards becoming borderless involves traveling the world. How else can one really experience a culture without visiting?

Tomorrow is my last day here and the heat and humidity was definitely my biggest surprise. I travelled throughout the country and everywhere it was over 90 degrees with 70 % humidity. Obviously good preparation for Cambodia where the heat index is forecast to be about 110-115 degrees next week.… [Read more]

Do You Have a Flag? Sino-Japanese Relations In Potentially Hot Water

East Asia experienced a series of rapid-fire international relations conundrums over the weekend on the uninhabited islands trailing off from Okinawa in the South China Sea. The Japanese national government, spearheaded by the governor of Tokyo, made a move that upset the Chinese so much that a small group of nationalists made an excursion out to the islands in order to express their grievances.… [Read more]

From Hiroshima With Love

In honor of the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, I would like to offer sincere condolences and a wish for deeper understanding and greater empathy the world over. Sixty seven years ago this August 6, at 8:15 AM, 140,000 were killed by the destructive power of the world’s first nuclear weapon detonation.

This Monday, August 6, 2012, marked the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan — and the world’s first use of a nuclear weapon.… [Read more]

HIV/AIDS Prevention: Back to the Basics for Japan?

Since HIV/AIDS hit the surface of public consciousness in the 1980s, it has been frequently discussed and impressed upon the psyche of more than a generation’s worth of young people worldwide. As a member of this 1980s generation, I knew it was a problem that lurked about us, but I was at a loss for how to define or describe it.[Read more]