Last month, 18-year-old Shapla was just another one of thousands of garment workers employed in a factory in Savar, a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
As Japan slips from its former top spot as the world’s biggest donor, experts here are worried about long-term changes in the country’s development assistance programme, which has played a crucial role in global poverty reduction efforts.
The island of Okinawa has long been known as the base camp for a majority of the United States’ 50,000 troops in Japan. But now, against the backdrop of escalating nuclear threats from North Korea, local leaders are pushing hard to promote this island – the largest of 60 that comprise Japan’s southern prefecture – and its surrounding islets as a lucrative site for commercial enterprises.
Pushed and pulled in opposite directions, the future of Japan’s energy plans in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago is emerging as a fight between national economic advancement and what anti-nuke activists call “the lives of the people”.
Japan has promised to scrap the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors that faced the world’s worst nuclear accident. But Hiroyuki Watanabe, councillor in Iwaki City located 30 kilometres from the accident site, greets such intentions on the second anniversary of the disaster on Monday with misgiving.
Japan prepares to mark the second anniversary of the Mar. 11 triple disaster - an earthquake, tsunami and a critical nuclear reactor accident - with much soul searching across the country.
The return to power of Japan’s conservative and hard-line Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Sunday indicates that voters traded urgently needed social and environmental reforms for traditional male-led leadership, according to analysts here.
When Hiroko Taguchi retired this past April, at the age of 64, from her job as an insurance sales agent, she joined the rapidly growing ranks of Japan’s aging women who now outnumber their male counterparts.
Okinawa, the largest of a group of 60 sub-tropical islands forming Japan’s southernmost prefecture, has an equable climate and preferential treatment for United States servicemen under the Mutual Cooperation Security Treaty between the U.S. and Japan.
Developing countries – relegated to the sidelines of the West-led postwar expansion – have emerged as the saving grace of the global economy against a backdrop of calls for a new economic model that can ease the ravages of globalisation and address the lack of confidence in market-based systems.
The debris of the devastated Arahama elementary school yielded two enduring lessons for its principal, Takao Kawamura, in the months after the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s north-east coastland on Mar. 11, 2011.
According to popular belief, the world’s rapidly ageing societies face the risk of poverty, dementia and loneliness. But not necessarily so, says a United Nations publication unveiled in Japan Monday. Better management by governments can support a better life for the elderly, and lead them to becoming important contributors to society, it says.
While the 40th
anniversary of the normalisation of Japan-China relations passed under a dark shadow of rising tensions and bitter territorial disputes in East Asia, a strand of citizen-based diplomacy at the grassroots level is emerging in Japan as a path towards regional reconciliation.
Unhappy with her employer of five years, Chikako Harada, 34, quit three months ago and has just started on a new job with a large Internet sales company.
Yumiko Yonekura, who survived last year’s massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Tohoku in northeast Japan, has just launched ‘Hot Care Kesenuma’, a welfare company that provides special care for feeble elders in the affected region.