Harumi Ozawa

For Harumi Ozawa's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Religious duel: Pastor rock vs. Buddhist monk blues

Apr 1, 2016

Religious duel: Pastor rock vs. Buddhist monk blues

Most days, Lutheran pastor Kazuhiro Sekino preaches to his congregation in a soft voice with religious hymns playing in the background of a Tokyo church. But as night falls, he hits a smoky stage crisscrossed with whizzing strobe lights, shedding his pious day job ...

Tokyo district tries to reel in tourists with whale meat

Oct 9, 2015

Tokyo district tries to reel in tourists with whale meat

When tourists think of Japan, images of dramatic landscapes, futuristic cities and world-class sushi might spring to mind. But one Tokyo district is hoping to reel in outsiders with one of the country’s more controversial traditional foods — whale meat. Ebisu, a chichi gastronomic ...

MERS sparks mask rush, but are they effective?

Jun 21, 2015

MERS sparks mask rush, but are they effective?

As South Korea scrambles to control an outbreak of the killer MERS virus, its fearful citizens have donned surgical masks en masse — but the jury is out on whether they actually protect against the invisible enemy lurking in the air. Across Asia, masks ...

Market salivates over GPIF plans

Jun 16, 2014

Market salivates over GPIF plans

The government is readying to unfetter its huge public pension fund, freeing managers to dump low-yield sovereign bonds and go in search of higher, but riskier returns, in a move that could see cash flood global markets. The nation’s pension program, into which almost ...

Japan's cuddly mascots facing layoffs

May 12, 2014

Japan's cuddly mascots facing layoffs

Dozens of publicly funded cuddly mascots could be culled in Osaka after the prefectural government found the public doesn’t recognize many of them, as managers look to rein in an obsession with cuteness. Thousands of “yuru-kyara” (“laid-back characters”) have been created all over Japan ...