Makiko Kitamura

For Makiko Kitamura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Veggie-heavy diet and yoga shown to slow cell aging

Sep 17, 2013

Veggie-heavy diet and yoga shown to slow cell aging

The fountain of youth may simply be a healthy diet and reduced stress after all, not a magic pill or expensive cosmetics. Comprehensive lifestyle changes, including more fruit and vegetables as well as meditation and yoga, were shown to reverse signs of aging at ...

Aug 6, 2011

Exporters say they need still more action to lower yen

Japanese exporters are calling for more action to weaken the near-record high yen even after government intervention prompted the currency’s biggest drop since March. “The exchange rate is at a level that has an extremely damaging effect on the Japanese economy,” Osamu Masuko, president ...

Quake levels playing field for imported cars

Jun 7, 2011

Quake levels playing field for imported cars

The record March 11 earthquake had an unexpected side effect for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG dealer Jun Kubota: His showroom in central Tokyo had its best April in at least three years. Kubota wasn’t alone. Across the country, as Japanese carmakers reeled from output ...

Toyoda buries head as recall crisis grows

Feb 5, 2010

Toyoda buries head as recall crisis grows

As Toyota’s recalls spread to at least 7.6 million cars across five continents, President Akio Toyoda’s only public comments on the matter have consisted of an impromptu, 75-second interview with NHK in Davos, Switzerland. More than a week after the world’s biggest carmaker said ...

Jan 19, 2010

JAL better off without government umbrella

Kiyoshi Watanabe bought Japan Airlines Corp. shares last year at about ¥100 and lost more than 90 percent of his investment on speculation the former flag carrier will file for bankruptcy. Yet he supports the government’s decision to forgo a bailout. “With the blood ...

Is Mazda next in line for partner?

Dec 18, 2009

Is Mazda next in line for partner?

Mazda Motor Corp. may be the next carmaker to strike an alliance following plans by Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to team up with overseas manufacturers, investors and analysts say. The companies are seeking to share costs for developing new models with ...

Sep 19, 2009

Nissan calls on composers of movie scores to give EVs sound

Toshiyuki Tabata spent 30 years as a Nissan Motor Co. engineer trying to make gasoline-powered cars quieter. Now he’s consulting music composers to make electric cars noisier — and safer. Electric and hybrid cars, with little or no engine noise, are lauded for their ...

Carmakers chase female buyers

Jul 28, 2009

Carmakers chase female buyers

More than 300 young women, sporting curly chestnut brown-dyed hair, heavy makeup and manicured nails crowded into a Toyota showroom, peering at a Prius painted candy-apple red and decorated with rhinestones and heart-shaped pink stickers. “I’m not really interested in cars,” said Erika Horiki, ...

Mar 4, 2009

Honda weathers crisis with Asia motorbike niche

Vanida Paipong, a 33-year-old noodle factory worker in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, will pay installments of 5,000 baht (about ¥13,600) a month on her 100cc Honda CZ-i motorcycle. She bought the bike in February after her last Honda motorbike lasted 10 years, hauling friends and ...

Muscle cars giving 'otaku' new platforms to flex their fetishes

Nov 19, 2008

Muscle cars giving 'otaku' new platforms to flex their fetishes

Masaya Taniguchi has a “heartache” plastered across the hood of his flaming red Audi TT Roadster. Her name is Mashiro Mito, a teenage character from his favorite computer game with melancholic eyes and pink ribbons in chestnut hair. Taniguchi, 28, is an “otaku,” a ...