Haruko Mera

For Haruko Mera's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan's PTAs struggle to adapt as more mothers enter workforce

Nov 26, 2014

Japan's PTAs struggle to adapt as more mothers enter workforce

An increase in the number of working mothers is prompting changes in the way parent-teacher associations operate. “Nobody spoke in the meeting; it was almost like a wake,” said one mother, whose child attends an elementary school in the Tokyo metropolitan area, referring to ...

'Ending planners' lend funerals a personal touch

Apr 30, 2014

'Ending planners' lend funerals a personal touch

A pack of motorcyclists leading the hearse of a fellow bike enthusiast; a small boat carrying the coffin of a fishing buff: Unique funeral arrangements such as these are starting to crop up in Japan as bereaved families add a personal touch and a ...

Moms may depend on apps but experts urge real interaction

Feb 4, 2014

Moms may depend on apps but experts urge real interaction

Many of today’s women appear to be depending on smartphone applications to prepare for pregnancy or the birth of a baby, and to take care of or even discipline their children. Experts warn that parents shouldn’t give smartphones to their infants to have them ...

Clothing retailers boost large-size women's lineup

Apr 11, 2013

Clothing retailers boost large-size women's lineup

Department stores and other retailers are expanding their lineup of large-size clothes to meet growing demand among big women wishing to don fashionable apparel. Nissen Co., a leading mail-order company based in the city of Kyoto, opened a store in the Parco Part3 building ...

Jul 22, 2010

Law gives dads time for parenting

Japan has taken another step to reverse its declining birthrate, as a law revision extending parental leave took effect last month with the hopes of encouraging fathers to play a larger role in raising children. Leave is now up to 14 months if both ...

Caregiver field now finds takers

Aug 12, 2009

Caregiver field now finds takers

There are emerging signs that the serious shortage in care assistants is abating, as statistics show the field’s job offers-to-seekers ratio fell from 2.53 in December to 1.28 in June. People who have experience as care assistants but have worked in other fields are ...