(first published on Toraijin.com September 21st, 2017)

The sheer amount of food choice in Tokyo is staggering. It is not a stretch to say that eateries make up most of the businesses packed into the busy streets of this sprawling city. It would be impossible to try them all. Although I wish I could…

In addition, we don’t always have the time and energy to cook at home or pick up some take out. Thankfully, Japan has absurdly convenient online food delivery services, a no brainer for a hungry foreigner. Here is the ‘go-to’ website for those times we can’t…

Temple University Japan Campus — Thesis Project

April 27th, 2018

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. — Herbert A. Simon[1]

For years I have been keeping my ear to the ground, listening to comments by experts who fear what the internet and mass media are doing to our human psyche and to our democracies. Their concern is that the constant syphoning of our attention into an online world — a world cluttered with endless streams of contradicting information — can disrupt the critical thinking faculties necessary for a healthy society.

Following the 2016 election of Donald Trump, the wider media…

The busy Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan.

In Japan, social media has both helped and hurt the process of accurately informing citizens. During the tragic Tokoku Earthquake in 2011, the nation learned the hard way how the spread of misinformation on social media can negatively effect the population. One scholarly paper wrote about the role Twitter played during the disaster stating that —

…numerous false rumors were spread, probably due to the sources of information being unclear. To prepare for future disasters, we must analyze the diffusion of information through social media as soon as possible.

In consideration of these revelations and in light of the current…

David Cortez

July 19th 2017

We all remember when President Donald Trump thrust his pointer finger towards Jim Acosta and bloviated the phrase, “you are fake news,” during his January press conference this year. Mr. Trump has good reasons to want to use the term that is inherently a pejorative aimed at the news media. He doesn’t often receive positive coverage from them.

However, the term itself has become an ever-increasing topic of discussion as dozens and dozens of disreputable websites have been exposed to be churning out demonstrably false news stories in the recent years. There is a trend…

Ambassador Robert M. Orr in Tokyo, Nov 30th

David Cortez

November 30, 2017

On November 30th at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Japan in the heart of Tokyo, Ambassador Robert M. Orr spoke to members of the foreign press regarding Donald Trump’s recent tour through Asia. For Orr, the Asia trip was a damaging moment for American foreign relations in the region, one that may have set the U.S. back in more ways than in its international image.

Robert Orr served as Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank under the Obama administration until January 2016 and was previously the President of Boeing Japan, making him more than qualified…

Lance Gatling speaking at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Japan

David Cortez

November 14, 2017

On the afternoon of November 9th, president of Nexial Research Inc. and long time defense analyst, Lance Gatling, spoke at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Japan about the state of the North Korean missile program to members of the Tokyo press. While the actions of the North Koreans are of global concern, Gatling repeatedly reminded listeners that Japan has the unfortunate circumstance of being in close proximity to the provocative regime, making what he had to say all the more relevant.

Along with a detailed break down of the current North Korean arsenal and what…

Director Bruce Stokes on October 19th at the JNPC

David Cortez

October 21, 2017

On the afternoon of October 19th, the director of Global and National attitudes for the Pew Research Center in Washington, Bruce Stokes, strolled up to the press conference desk at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo to discuss the recent results of polling aimed at providing insight into international opinions about the general state of affairs in 2017. Considering the rather unprecedented level of uncertainty and anxiety on the world’s stage today, the Pew data offered a welcome look at global moods, but did not necessarily paint an encouraging picture.

The research — conducted…

Dave Cortez -September 25th, 2017

I find Tokyo to be a wonderful city. Most foreigners who come to Tokyo for short visits often come to the same conclusion. We all know, however, that staying too long in the concrete jungle is not very good for the soul. Conversely, the rural residents of Japan often rely on Tokyo dwellers to come out and spend money in their communities. With full knowledge of this, in come the railway companies to the rescue.

For those looking for a fun afternoon away from the city, there are a number of discount travel options offered…

The Honorable Mona Makram-Ebeid delivering her speech at the Japanese National Press Club on Oct 10th

David Cortez

October 19, 2017

On Tuesday October 10th at the Japanese National Press Club in Tokyo, former Egyptian parliamentarian and current Professor of Political Science at the American University of Cairo, Mona Makram-Ebeid, was invited to speak on the future of Egypt in the aftermath of its two destabilizing revolutions.

Fully understanding the sheer scope of the topic at hand, Makram-Ebeid opted to have the audience of journalists begin with a round of questions before she delivered her speech. The audience was made up of Japanese reporters from various publications whose questions ranged from inquiry about the economic goals…

David Cortez

October 5, 2017

On the evening of September 20th to an audience of her peers at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies lecture series hosted at Temple University Japan Campus in Tokyo, Kerry Lynn Nankivell delivered a well-crafted lecture breaking down how maritime disputes contribute to Chinese-Japanese competition in the East Asia Security Complex. Nankivell is a maritime security professional whose long career in the Canadian military and shipping industry landed her a research professorship at Daniel K. …

David Cortez

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