As politicians in Beijing gathered for the annual meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the skies outside darkened, providing grim foreshadowing of events that could alter the fate of Hong Kong forever. Hours later, international news outlets were announcing “the end of Hong Kong.”
The second inauguration ceremony for President Tsai Ing-wen was held today, marking the start of Tsai’s second term as president after her January 2020 election victory.
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.
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.
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.
A roundup of the most significant news stories from Japan reported in the first half of February 2020.
In the United Kingdom, teenage climate activists have gone on hunger strikes in order to prevent the construction of the Woodhouse Colliery coal mine in West Cumbria, which would be the United Kingdom’s first deep coal mine in three decades.
Libby Sander, assistant professor of Bond University in Queensland, Australia, advocates a four day work week for Japan. Her expertise on the future of work helps expose the pitfalls of long and often unproductive working hours in this country.
Carlos Ghosn defense lawyer Takashi Takano has written a blog post in Japanese language, dated January 4, expressing his outrage at the prosecution of his client Carlos Ghosn.
A roundup of the most significant news stories from Japan reported in the last half of December 2019.