Natsuko Fukue

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

Aug 2, 2012

Fukushima residents rip nuke power

Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, speaking Wednesday at a government-sponsored public hearing on national energy policy, called for an end to dependence on nuclear energy by 2030. The event in the prefecture that hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the latest in ...

Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split

Jun 29, 2012

Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split

Hoping to head off a possible breakaway from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi met Thursday with Ichiro Ozawa, appealing to the party kingpin to stand behind Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and shore up unity. Ozawa had threatened to ...

Jun 28, 2012

LDP ups ante as Noda weighs Ozawa's fate

After more than 70 lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan rejected or abstained from voting on the contentious bill to hike the sales tax, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other DPJ executives began internal discussions Wednesday on how to punish the dissenters, mainly ...

| Jun 27, 2012

More hurdles in store for Noda

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda managed to get the Lower House to pass the contentious tax hike bill, but his troubles are far from over, as demonstrated by the no votes cast by the Democratic Party of Japan’s kingpin, Ichiro Ozawa, and more than 50 ...

Ozawa, allies to vote against tax hike bill

Jun 22, 2012

Ozawa, allies to vote against tax hike bill

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan said Thursday they have abandoned attempts to pass the tax hike bill Friday, but an internal rift looms as Ichiro Ozawa officially declared his intention to vote against the legislation. Also on Thursday, ...

Jun 21, 2012

Noda officially gives in on tax, welfare reform

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Democratic Party of Japan executives officially endorsed changes to the government’s social security and tax reform bills Wednesday, while signalling the Diet session will be extended, possibly to early September. Noda was forced to postpone a vote on the ...

| Jun 12, 2012

Dormant accounts eyed for Tohoku

The government began in February looking into ways to make good use of billions of yen in so-called dormant bank accounts, particularly to help fund reconstruction of areas in the Tohoku region devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. An ...

Jun 4, 2012

Noda to tweak Cabinet to win tax hike votes

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Sunday he will reshuffle his Cabinet in a bid to win opposition support for his administration’s unpopular tax hike bill. Although Noda refused to give any specifics on the shakeup, expected Monday, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and land minister ...

May 31, 2012

Noda fails to win over Ozawa on tax hike

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, failed Wednesday during a meeting lasting 90 minutes to persuade former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa to back the administration’s tax hike proposal. Noda wanted Ozawa, whose group is the biggest in the ...

May 25, 2012

Group seeks Web-based campaigning

An Internet campaign directed at young voters played a significant role in Barack Obama’s election in 2008 as president of the United States. But unlike other developed countries, Japanese law forbids candidates from using the Internet during election campaigns, whether it’s updating their websites ...