August 21, 2013 |
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has an unprecedented plan to boost economic growth and shore up his country's shrinking labor force - help more women return to work. About two-thirds of Japanese women leave the workforce after the birth of their first child. Most do not return for years, if ever. It's a major reason the employment rate of Japanese women is one of the lowest in developed economies, particularly among those married and well-educated. Abe's government wants to change that situation for women such as Saori Tachibana.
August 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. trade official on Monday pressed Japan to open up its auto and insurance markets as he pushed for the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Speaking during a stop in Tokyo, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Japan plays a central role in the Asia-Pacific region and welcomed its decision this year to join the talks on a region-wide trade pact. But Froman said negotiators would have to address some remaining barriers for the U.S. and other countries in the Japanese market.
August 12, 2013 |
Japan's economic growth slowed in the second quarter, spurring debate over whether the country should raise its sales tax in order to more quickly pay down its public debt. The country's gross domestic product grew at an annualized 2.6%, coming in at a lower rate than many analysts' expectation of 3.8%. The previous quarter's GDP growth rate was also revised downward from 4.1% to 3.8%, the Japanese government said Monday. Top celebrity overseas commercials Japan's economy, which has had record deflation for much of the past two decades, has seen aggressive actions by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to turn around the world's third-largest economy.
July 30, 2013 |
Caroline Kennedy, President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Japan, brings a unique celebrity status - though not much in the way of expertise or relevant experience - to the ranks of U.S. diplomats. But in another sense, Kennedy is typical of many of Obama's ambassadorial appointments: She provided him with important support when he was seeking election to the White House. In Kennedy's case, that support took the form of a timely endorsement during the 2008 campaign from the daughter of a beloved Democratic president.
July 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Since the beginning of his second term, President Obama has appointed campaign fundraisers, party allies and other political figures as ambassadors at a level that is now almost double what has prevailed in the last few administrations. More than 56% of Obama's 41 second-term ambassadorial nominations have been political, compared with an average of about 30% for recent administrations, according to U.S. government figures compiled by the American Foreign Service Assn.
July 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Wednesday announced he would nominate Caroline Kennedy, a close friend and key political ally, as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan. The daughter of President Kennedy, she is president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She has written and edited a series of books, most of them related to the Kennedy family and its legacy, but has never held a government post. The ambassadorship is a major diplomatic assignment, and her appointment comes at an important moment.
July 24, 2013 |
Several months after the idea was first bruited, the White House has announced that President Obama will nominate Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan. The Times had this to say about the idea in an editorial in April: "If Caroline Kennedy were simply a lawyer and author, it's doubtful that she would be on any president's short list for a major diplomatic appointment. But Kennedy is also a member of a storied American political family and an early and valued supporter of Barack Obama's presidential ambitions.
July 23, 2013 |
Few environmental conflicts are as fraught and intractable as whaling. Under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, commercial whaling has been illegal since 1986. But the agreement contains a loophole that has guaranteed continuing controversy: Signatories can still kill whales for scientific research. Since the ban took effect, Japan's whaling industry has continued to kill hundreds of whales a year, insisting that the annual hunt is necessary for research purposes.
July 18, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Southern California Edison Co. has started legal action against the manufacturer of steam generators that failed and forced the permanent closure in June of the San Onofre nuclear power plant on the northern San Diego County coast. As expected, the electric utility filed a formal notice of dispute early Thursday with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan and its United States subsidiary, Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems. The action sets in motion negotiations that involve finding fault and assessing financial damages.
July 14, 2013
Re "Glendale enters fight over WW II sex slaves," July 11 Bravo to the city of Glendale for taking on Japan's denial of World War II atrocities. Unlike Germany's admission of its role in the deaths of so many and its efforts to compensate victims, Japan has taken the approach of denial and has refused compensation. In fact, Japan has gone on the offensive, pointing to the wartime use of atomic bombs by the U.S. Hidden behind this rhetoric is the fact that Japan has never admitted that only two of its many atrocities - the Rape of Nanking and the Manila Massacre - resulted in many more deaths than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.