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All posts by Michael Penn

Arguing with the Japan Times

The editors of the Japan Times published an announcement today regarding its now infamous “Editor’s Note” of November 2018, with the evident purpose of drawing a line under the affair and to recover their reputation for “fair, accurate and transparent journalism.” Unfortunately, it seems that the newspaper’s internal investigation bypassed all of the most serious and credible allegations.

The Covid-19 Crisis Stabilizes

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The WHO Chief is a Political Hack

The Covid-19 crisis has elevated the visibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) as never before. Indeed, this may be the very first time that a bureaucratic agency of the United Nations, not the Security Council or General Assembly, has become a focus of global media attention. It is quite unfortunate, then, that the WHO’s main face at this crucial juncture has turned out to be a political hack.

Document: Political Mission of the Japan Communist Party

Whereas most Japanese political parties, whether the ruling conservatives or the mainstream opposition, effectively have little in the way of fixed party policies, the Japan Communist Party, the nation’s oldest political party, is very different, taking its own platforms very seriously.

Coronavirus Response Likely a Massive Overreaction

With the keen media attention and the escalating response from governments around Asia and beyond, it would not be unreasonable for a large section of the public to feel quite afraid of the Wuhan Coronavirus, but what researchers are discovering is a level of threat to human health which may not be much greater than the seasonal flu.