Natsuko Fukue

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

Jan 17, 2012

Noda to DPJ: Focus Diet on reforms

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called for support from his Democratic Party of Japan colleagues Monday to back his planned reform of the social security and tax systems and urged unity to weather what looks to be a stormy Diet session starting in a week. ...

Jan 14, 2012

Picks mirror more pragmatic tack, bid to exert leadership

With a minor but crucial reshuffle Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepared to tackle his most important and difficult task — raising taxes. Noda has high hopes for Katsuya Okada as deputy prime minister, because he is expected to have what it takes to ...

New year could prove daunting for Noda

Jan 3, 2012

New year could prove daunting for Noda

In the four months since winning the Democratic Party of Japan presidential election, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has survived by taking a cautious approach to governing, managing to compile the 2012 budget and several bills to finance restoration of the disaster-hit Tohoku region. But ...

Fukushima rice in cesium limbo

| Dec 13, 2011

Fukushima rice in cesium limbo

Autumn is high season for freshly harvested “shinmai,” the new rice marketed as a seasonal favorite in Fukushima Prefecture. But the farmers there fear their fare will go unsold because harvests around three cities have turned up excessive levels of radioactive cesium, prompting shipment ...

Dec 10, 2011

Ichikawa, Yamaoka censured in Diet

The Upper House passed nonbinding censure motions Friday against Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and consumers affairs minister Kenji Yamaoka, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration on the last day of the extraordinary Diet session. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, ...

Nov 30, 2011

High cesium level found in Date rice

The government on Tuesday ordered a ban on the shipment of rice harvested in two more districts in Fukushima Prefecture after tests detected dangerously high levels of radioactive cesium. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the central government has instructed Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato ...

Nov 25, 2011

Noda seeks to appease party foes to TPP talks

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting Thursday with lawmakers from his Democratic Party of Japan in an effort to ease their opposition to Japan taking part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. It was the first time Noda met with DPJ Diet members since ...

Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami

Nov 18, 2011

Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami

The government on Thursday banned shipments of rice harvested in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima after one farm’s product registered levels of radioactive cesium above the provisional limit. It is the first ban on rice shipments since the devastating nuclear crisis ...

Nov 17, 2011

No need for U.S. to correct TPP comments, Noda says

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday he will not ask Washington again to revise a statement that he claimed misquoted his comments about Japan’s stance on free-trade talks. “I don’t think I need to ask (the U.S.) again to correct” the statement on the ...