Natsuko Fukue

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

Japan will join TPP dialogue, Noda decides

Nov 12, 2011

Japan will join TPP dialogue, Noda decides

Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda officially announced Friday night, a day after he delayed making an declaration on the country’s stance on the free-trade initiative. “We decided to join negotiations with member states over the TPP,” Noda said ...

| Nov 12, 2011

Dissent within DPJ ranks looks set to fester

Delaying the decision to take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations by a day may have bought a little time, but experts said Friday there is no going back for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda now that he has announced Japan will participate in the ...

Nov 11, 2011

DPJ shelves tobacco tax hike to appease opposition

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Thursday postponed its plan to raise the tobacco tax, a compromise intended to win the opposition camp’s support over the passage of budget-related bills. Hirohisa Fujii, who heads the DPJ’s tax panel, agreed to suspend moves to ...

Tohoku teens share views of survival

Nov 10, 2011

Tohoku teens share views of survival

Asaka Yanada, a 15-year-old high school student from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, ran as fast as she could toward a hill for 2 km, shepherding elementary school students, when the giant tsunami engulfed her hometown on March 11. That’s how she survived the biggest disaster ...

Nov 9, 2011

Tohoku recovery bond redemption put at 25 years

The Democratic Party of Japan yielded to the opposition camp Tuesday and agreed to redeem the bonds for financing the reconstruction of the Tohoku region in 25 years. The agreement came after the DPJ compromised on the redemption period, extending the government’s original plan ...

Noda takes flak in Diet over extra budget, free trade

Nov 1, 2011

Noda takes flak in Diet over extra budget, free trade

Opposition lawmakers lashed out at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday over what they said is the administration’s unclear stance on whether to join free-trade talks, criticized components of the third extra budget for the Tohoku region reconstruction and called on him to dissolve ...

Bureaucrat housing perks draw fire

| Oct 18, 2011

Bureaucrat housing perks draw fire

As The Government Scrambles To Find Funds To Rebuild The Disaster-hit Tohoku Region, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Hinted Monday The Government May Cancel A ¥10.5 Billion Project To Construct A State-owned Housing Complex For Civil Servants In Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, Amid An Opposition Uproar. ...

Sep 30, 2011

Eight prefectures eyed for radioactive dumps

The Environment Ministry has revealed a controversial plan to build temporary storage facilities for soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in eight prefectures in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. The eight are Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Tokyo, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki ...

Sep 29, 2011

Noda eyes reduced media contact

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda hinted Wednesday that he may hold regular news conferences instead of standup interviews with the press, apparently reflecting caution in dealing with the media. Since he took office Sept. 2, Noda has been shunning daily encounters with the media in ...

Aides' convictions bode ill for Ozawa

| Sep 28, 2011

Aides' convictions bode ill for Ozawa

The convictions Monday of Democratic Party of Japan ex-leader Ichiro Ozawa’s former aides for making false entries in his political funds records will inevitably impact the kingpin’s own trial that starts next month and weaken his clout in the ruling party, legal and political ...