Natsuko Fukue

For Natsuko Fukue's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Media grill party chiefs in televised debate

| Dec 1, 2012

Media grill party chiefs in televised debate

With campaigning for the Lower House election set to kick off in a few days, the leaders of 11 parties gathered for a televised discussion Friday that saw most of the questions thrown at Liberal Democratic Party chief Shinzo Abe, whose party leads the ...

Nippon Ishin qualifies nuclear phaseout goal

| Nov 30, 2012

Nippon Ishin qualifies nuclear phaseout goal

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), the “third force” emerging as a serious challenger to the political status quo, unveiled a watered-down version of its election platform Thursday devoid of a definitive road map for phasing out nuclear power. Instead, the party merely ...

Ishihara talks up weapons exports as deterrent

| Nov 27, 2012

Ishihara talks up weapons exports as deterrent

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) leader Shintaro Ishihara said Monday that Japan should produce arms for export overseas so its advanced military technology can act as a deterrent. “We should sell as many excellent weapons as possible . . . The technologies ...

Ishihara rattles saber against China

Nov 21, 2012

Ishihara rattles saber against China

Shintaro Ishihara, the new head of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), remained true to his China-hawk form Tuesday by saying Japan should “simulate” possessing nuclear arms as a deterrent to Beijing. Ishihara’s remark during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club ...

Nov 16, 2012

Foes forced Noda to call dissolution

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda moved to dissolve the Lower House on Friday amid constant pressure from the opposition and also from Democratic Party of Japan members who wanted him to step down, but his gamble is unlikely to work in the ruling party’s favor. ...

Noda will schedule election for Dec. 16

Nov 15, 2012

Noda will schedule election for Dec. 16

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday he plans to dissolve the Lower House on Friday and schedule the general election for Dec. 16. Noda made the offer in return for the opposition camp’s agreement to support an electoral reform bill submitted by his Democratic ...

Nov 14, 2012

Opposition meeting Noda poll conditions

The Democratic Party of Japan agreed Tuesday with two opposition parties on amendments to the deficit-covering bonds bill, ensuring its passage Thursday — a key condition Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has set for dissolving the Lower House for an election. The DPJ, Liberal Democratic ...

Nov 9, 2012

Diet takes up bond bill as LDP caves in

After months of hardball between the ruling and opposition blocs, Diet deliberations on the crucial bond-issuance bill kicked off Thursday, paving the way for its passage. The move came a day after the Liberal Democratic Party caved in, apparently judging it would anger the ...

Nov 2, 2012

Foes: Noda vow to call poll 'soon' not soon enough

Opposition parties pressed Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda again Thursday to immediately dissolve the Lower House for a snap election, but he snubbed their demands, saying he will do so based on his own judgement. “It is common sense that when (Noda) says he is ...

Shale oil vein raises energy, tech hopes

| Oct 16, 2012

Shale oil vein raises energy, tech hopes

For the first time ever this month, shale oil was extracted from a Japanese oil field. Although the Ayukawa oil and gas field in Akita Prefecture likely doesn’t hold vast quantities, its yield is still good news for a nation seeking new energy resources ...