Natsuko Fukue

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

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 or ...

Ozawa faces appeal over his acquittal

May 10, 2012

Ozawa faces appeal over his acquittal

Prosecutors on Wednesday appealed a lower court ruling acquitting former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa of conspiring with his former aides to falsify financial reports for his political funds management body, Rikuzankai, in 2004 and 2005. "The lower court ruling contains factual errors. ...

DPJ reinstates Noda tax foe Ozawa

May 9, 2012

DPJ reinstates Noda tax foe Ozawa

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan reinstated the party membership of Ichiro Ozawa on Tuesday, a move that intensifies the power struggle over a proposed tax hike the DPJ heavyweight opposes and opens the door for him to run in the party presidential election ...

May 8, 2012

Low autopsy rate seen abetting murderers

Kanae Kijima, recently sentenced to hang for killing three boyfriends, may have been arrested before the second and third murders if police had conducted an autopsy on the first victim, Takao Terada, who was found dead in his Tokyo home in 2009. Police deemed his ...

Apr 28, 2012

Eased postal reforms, Diet pay cuts passed

The Diet passed a bill Friday to amend the Postal Privatization Law and water down the postal reforms championed in the early 2000s by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and a bill to trim national lawmakers' salaries for two years. The two bills were approved ...

Censure motions passed on ministers

Apr 21, 2012

Censure motions passed on ministers

The Upper House passed nonbinding censure motions Friday against Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda, delivering a double blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration. The motions were submitted Wednesday by the Liberal Democratic Party and two smaller ...

LDP readies two censure motions

Apr 18, 2012

LDP readies two censure motions

It looks like Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan are in for a rough ride in the current Diet session. The Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it is ready to submit censure motions against two Cabinet ministers. LDP Secretary General ...

Apr 13, 2012

Lawmakers give nod to weakened postal bill

A government-sponsored bill that waters down the postal privatization reforms pushed through by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi cleared the Lower House on Thursday, which may allow the government to retain control of the banking, mail and insurance juggernaut for years to come. The bill, ...

Opposition grills Noda over tax reform details

Apr 12, 2012

Opposition grills Noda over tax reform details

Social security and tax reform plans were the main issues of contention Wednesday as opposition party leaders grilled Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda during a one-on-one Diet debate. Noda repeatedly urged opposition leaders to cooperate with the passage of the tax hike bill, which he has ...

Apr 10, 2012

LDP and Komeito shoot down reform talks

Two main opposition parties on Monday spurned a call by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to hold talks on social security and tax reform, dealing another setback to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as he seeks support for a contentious tax hike bill. The Liberal ...