There’s an oft-used expression in Japanese: sekinin tenka. Best translated as “passing the buck,” it’s a reflex of dodging blame for one’s own actions by transferring responsibility to others. For too long, Japan has done so on the world stage with impunity—even when it affects the world adversely.
Japan’s labor laws have made several several distinct steps forward since the Meiji Restoration of 1868, with workers gradually gaining a degree of protection from the exploitation of business owners and managers. However, the era of Shinzo Abe has been characterized not only by a failure to progress further, but by a distinct step backwards.
The drama of cruise ship Diamond Princess, currently moored at Yokohama and quarantined by Japan’s Health Ministry due to some of the 3,700 passengers and crew testing positive for the coronavirus, is a human rights crisis.
When did poverty become normal? Conventional wisdom had it that poverty didn’t exist in Japan; that the miracle recovery during the country’s rapid growth period had given birth to a middle class of 100 million people.
I have to admit more than a twinge of sympathy for Carlos Ghosn’s Great Escape.
Yasuhiro Nakasone, who served as prime minister from 1982 to 1987 and died this past November 29, broke the back of Japan’s labor movement.
The disturbing implications of yet another Japanese-language designation for foreign residents.
Pets, music, foreigners. Do these words ring a bell? They might if you are a foreigner who has tried to rent an apartment in Japan. They’re known as the three big barriers in rental housing.
After Halloween, you could be forgiven for thinking Shibuya was set aflame and Hachiko knocked off his plinth. But drop by sometime; everything is still there just fine.
Tokyo General Union President Hifumi Okunuki outlines an important legal battle over paid leave and workers’ rights in Japan.