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The impact of student loans on Japan's economy, why Australia shouldn't ban burqas, the commercialization of motherhood in India, internet harassment in England, and why Canada must stand against Islamic State

This week's round-up of commentaries covers the impact of student loans on Japan's economy, why Australians should stand against a ban on wearing burqas, the problems of being a surrogate mother in India, why Britain must stand against Internet trolls, and why Canada must join the fight against Islamic State.

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    A man talks on his mobile phone in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, Oct. 17.
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The Japan Times / Tokyo
Student loans hurt the nation’s economy

“More and more students are being forced to drop out of universities, colleges and vocational schools
 because they cannot afford tuition...,” states an editorial. “More than 70 percent of schools said more and more students are asking for tuition exemptions or split payments.... Taking on a very large debt to pay for schooling can be a long-term, serious financial burden for individuals and families.... Helping students to achieve their educational goals is an investment in the country’s future. Until greater financial assistance is offered by the government, schools and the very companies where graduates will eventually work, the
 educational system looks likely to intensify an unfair gap between the rich and the poor.”

The Age / Melbourne, Australia
Government should not ban burqas

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott failed a crucial test of leadership.... Asked repeatedly about his views on Liberal senator Cory Bernardi’s push to ban the wearing of burqas in Parliament House, Mr Abbott did not do what a strong and courageous leader would. He should have unequivocally denounced the proposal...,” states an editorial. “The wearing of a burqa or niqab has nothing to do with national security or terrorism. It is not a threat to, or a jibe at, Western society. It is a piece of clothing, and people who fear others merely
 because they wear burqas are exhibiting irrational alarm about a person behind a veil.... Successful and strong nation states are founded on the acceptance of difference, not merely the tolerance of it, and on the
 protection of individual rights and liberties, including the freedoms of expression and religion.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India
Stop the commercialization of motherhood

“After the first surrogate delivery in India in June 1994, India has steadily emerged as an international destination [for surrogate births].... Such commercialisation of motherhood has ... raised fears of the exploitation of women as baby-producers...,” states an editorial. “The absence of appropriate legal provisions to ensure that surrogate mothers, who often enter into loosely drafted agreements with commissioning parents, do not become vulnerable is a serious issue. Right now, the surrogate mother could find herself with a child she did not plan for, should the clients change their mind. On the other hand, the big worry of the intending parents would be that the baby may not be handed over to them.... [B]ut the larger moral question whether human reproduction should be commercialised would still remain.”

Times of London / London
Internet harassers should be arrested

“[P]eople rarely scream abuse in the face of strangers in the street. When families are bereaved, jeering gangs do not gather outside their house to gloat at their misfortunes.... Yet all these things happen on the internet every day...,” states an editorial. “Law enforcement is erratic and inconsistent when it comes to policing social media.... Yet there is a line between rudeness and harassment, and many of those who use
 social media should better understand the difference and know where that line is.... Only then can we
 protect the innocent and prosecute the offenders. The trolls need themselves to be trolled.”

The National Post / Toronto
Canada must stand against Islamic State

“Canadians, and the citizens of all the Western democracies, have every reason to fear another prolonged, costly and ultimately unsuccessful war in Iraq.... No reasonable Western leader would wish to return,” writes Matt Gurney. “But ... this is not the same choice that Canada faced in 2003, when it declined to join the U.S.-led war to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. This time, the Iraqi government, and beleaguered civilians on the ground, are begging for Western help.... The inability to fix all the world’s problems ... must never be treated as an excuse to solve none of them. Canada has been asked to wage war against a group that offends all standards of decency, and that no Canadian would tolerate on our own soil.”

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