Harumi Ozawa

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

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 ...

K-pop stars hit right note amid diplomatic rift

Apr 23, 2014

K-pop stars hit right note amid diplomatic rift

Thousands of K-pop fans flocked to a major concert by top South Korean music stars in Japan earlier this month, with organizers and fans alike calling it a “bridge” between two nations locked in what appears to be a never-ending diplomatic squabble. The K-pop ...

'Zentai' fans search for identity in fetish suits

Apr 17, 2014

'Zentai' fans search for identity in fetish suits

By day, she is a mild-mannered office clerk whose modest make-up and conservative hairstyle allow her to blend in with any crowd. By night, she dresses in a skin-tight, all-in-one Spandex body suit that covers everything — including her eyes — and sits in ...

Widower to tsunami dives on in hope

Mar 11, 2014

Widower to tsunami dives on in hope

Yasuo Takamatsu, 57, grunts with the effort of hoisting a scuba diving tank onto his back as he prepares to step into the cold waters off the tsunami-ravaged Tohoku coast to look for the body of his wife, one of thousands still missing three ...

Prince Hisahito: the future of the monarchy?

Jul 12, 2013

Prince Hisahito: the future of the monarchy?

As an expectant Britain gets royal baby fever and readies to welcome a future monarch — male or female — the young boy who carries the destiny of Japan’s Imperial family lives a life much less examined. Prince Hisahito, 6, son of Prince Akishino ...

Korean kids biggest losers in nuclear test

Mar 2, 2013

Korean kids biggest losers in nuclear test

As the world rushed to condemn North Korea for its nuclear test, the political shock waves rippled into the daily lives of ethnic Korean children living in Japan. Amid the clamor for an effective way to punish a Pyongyang leadership that has proved immune ...

Japan will never stop whaling: fisheries chief

Feb 28, 2013

Japan will never stop whaling: fisheries chief

Fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan will never stop hunting whales despite fierce criticism from other nations and violent clashes at sea with militant conservationists. “I don’t think there will be any kind of an end for whaling by Japan,” he said Tuesday. Hayashi, ...

Nationalism rears head ahead of poll

Dec 8, 2012

Nationalism rears head ahead of poll

Park Jeong Hun always found Japan a reasonable place to live, a place where, as a second-generation Korean, she rubbed along well with her neighbors. But when her nonprofit group tried to put on a dance to showcase their heritage in the cosmopolitan city ...