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Miwa Suzuki

For Miwa Suzuki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

One-man newspaper wins plaudits

May 28, 2014

One-man newspaper wins plaudits

Toshio Hiratsuka is the backbone of his local newspaper — the star reporter whose trusty notebook and pen have borne witness to nearly every significant event in his corner of the country for 65 years. Hiratsuka is the man without whom the paper would ...

Military waging popularity campaign

Apr 18, 2014

Military waging popularity campaign

Pacifist Japan is gradually learning to love its military, with an apparent public relations campaign to soften its image featuring online popularity contests, a much-touted soprano vocalist and dating events. The armed forces are also visible in youth culture, with young teens tuning in ...

Travel agent offers trips for your teddy bear

Dec 6, 2013

Travel agent offers trips for your teddy bear

Can’t get to that must-see tourist site and can’t bear for your teddy to miss out as well? Then a travel agency has just the thing for you — it takes stuffed toys on package tours and even provides the holiday snaps to prove ...

Robots help sushi-go-round turn high-tech

Aug 15, 2013

Robots help sushi-go-round turn high-tech

With its masters required to hone their skills over decades, sushi is steeped in tradition. But it is also often a high-tech operation where robotic precision steals the limelight from the chef’s knife. Japan is dotted with thousands of “kaiten” (revolving) sushi restaurants where ...

Kanji writing skills go through changes in the digital era

Jul 3, 2013

Kanji writing skills go through changes in the digital era

As a schoolboy, Akihiro Matsumura spent hundreds of hours learning the intricate kanji that make up a part of written Japanese. Now, the graduate student can rely on his smartphone, tablet and laptop to remember them for him. “Sometimes I don’t even bother to ...

Hey kids, keep it down — graying Japan annoyed by children's noise

Jun 4, 2013

Hey kids, keep it down — graying Japan annoyed by children's noise

As the population declines, intolerance of children and the noise they make is increasing in a society growing less accustomed to hearing them, some child care experts say. While convenience stores blare electronic greetings and political candidates shout through high-volume megaphones at train stations, ...

Firm offering 3-D models of fetuses

Nov 29, 2012

Firm offering 3-D models of fetuses

Expectant parents who can’t wait to show the world what their baby will look like can now buy a 3-D model of the fetus to pass around to their friends. The 9-cm resin model of the white fetus, encased in a transparent block in ...

Engineer, 63, hailed as 'last ninja'

Aug 20, 2012

Engineer, 63, hailed as 'last ninja'

A 63-year-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a darkly dressed assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear in a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja. As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line ...