Asahi: Politics at a standstill

EDITORIALS The Bank of Japan is now left without a governor, an unusual situation that has hit Japan at a crucial moment for the world economy. The vacancy of the top BOJ post resulted directly from action taken Wednesday by the opposition camp led by Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan). In an Upper House vote, the dominant opposition bloc rejected the government’s latest nominee for new central bank chief, Koji Tanami, a former vice finance minister.

Asahi: Akita murders

EDITORIALS Suzuka Hatakeyama was convicted Wednesday of killing her only daughter and a neighbor’s son and handed life imprisonment for the crimes, which occurred over a period of slightly more than a month in 2006. The Akita District Court said Hatakeyama, 35, pushed her 9-year-old daughter Ayaka from a bridge railing into a river, causing her […] (7) [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: Vacant BOJ post must be filled quickly

EDITORIALS The post of Bank of Japan governor has fallen vacant for the first time in the postwar era. The deterioration in the functions of the nation’s political system, which brought about this disturbing situation, cannot be tolerated. [YOMIURI]

Asahi: Iraq war 5 years on

EDITORIALS Five years have elapsed since the start of the Iraq war, but there are people who are still trying to justify this historic blunder. (1) [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: A failure to fulfill duty to global economy

EDITORIALS After weeks of political cat and mouse, the post of Bank of Japan chief looks set to be left vacant for a while. Political parties should share the blame for their woeful crisis management as they failed to prevent this worst-case scenario from coming about. [YOMIURI]

Asahi: Violence in Tibet

EDITORIALS Unrest in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa left many people killed and injured following clashes between Buddhist monks, local citizens and Chinese troops. Details of the situation remain sketchy, but we urge the Chinese government to refrain from using military force so as to prevent an escalation of bloodshed. [ASAHI]

Asahi: Pension fiasco worsens

EDITORIALS Of the 50 million mysterious public pension accounts that came to light last year, the rightful owners of more than 20 million remain unknown and will likely never be identified. [ASAHI]

The Japan Times: Privacy vs. Juki Net

EDITORIALS The Supreme Court earlier this month declared as constitutional the nationwide Juki Net residency registry network, ruling against residents who had filed four separate lawsuits. [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Asahi: Special tax benefits

EDITORIALS Many of the dozens of expensive tax breaks enjoyed by specific groups of taxpayers raise some serious questions about fairness. The main opposition party, Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), has pledged to review these “special taxation measures” in earnest. [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: ROK presidential poll affects Japan’s security

EDITORIALS The upcoming presidential election in South Korea will be held just as the six-party talks on North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear programs are expected to reach a critical point. [YOMIURI]

Mainichi: Gov’t must think hard about fingerprinting foreigners

EDITORIALS Japan has started a new system obligating foreigners entering the country to provide their fingerprints and face photos. The United States started a similar process following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the government has gone along with this, revising the immigration law to make it obligatory for foreigners to take these steps. (1) [MAINICHI]

Asahi: Diet deliberations

EDITORIALS Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda returned home from summit talks in Singapore on Thursday and conferred with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of Democratic Party of Japan, and the heads of other opposition parties. [ASAHI]

Asahi: Stem cell research

EDITORIALS Stem cells can grow into muscles, the heart, or any other organ in the human body. If stem cells can be artificially created and grown, they can replace tissues and organs that are affected by illness or otherwise damaged. A huge leap has been made toward this dream of regenerative medicine. [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: All parties must present consumption tax plans

EDITORIALS The Liberal Democratic Party’s study group on fiscal reform on Wednesday compiled an interim report that presented a blueprint for Japan to restore its fiscal health. We hope the report will energize the formulation of specific proposals on using the consumption tax to ensure this nation has a stable revenue source for financing its social […] (1) [YOMIURI]

Asahi: Consumption tax hike

EDITORIALS Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has announced his intention of pursuing a social security policy focused on the needs of the people and vowed to establish a system that is sustainable over the long term and allows both old and young people to feel secure about their lives. [ASAHI]

Asahi: Fukuda’s foreign policy

EDITORIALS The wheels of dialogue have finally started to turn for Japan, China and South Korea. During his visit to Singapore, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met separately with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: Use Japan-ASEAN EPA as leverage to bolster ties

EDITORIALS The endorsement of an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should be a good chance for strengthening economic relations between Japan and the regional bloc in areas such as investment and human exchanges, in addition to boosting trade. [YOMIURI]

Asahi: Kitcho food scandal

EDITORIALS Yet another food scandal is leaving a bad taste in the public’s mouth. Police on Friday searched the head office of Senba Kitcho, which operates a chain of high-class Japanese restaurants and, as part of the Kitcho group, is counted among the most prestigious purveyors of Japanese cuisine. [ASAHI]

Asahi: Decentralization report

EDITORIALS The goal of the government’s decentralization promotion committee, according to its interim report announced Friday, is as follows: for local governments to be given administrative, legislative and fiscal powers to enable regions to play a central role in the running of this nation. (1) [ASAHI]

Yomiuri: Use fingerprints, photos to boost security

EDITORIALS The revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law will go into effect Tuesday, introducing new immigration checks that require foreign visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the country. [YOMIURI]

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