Sawako Obara

For Sawako Obara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Some Japanese firms encouraging enterprising staff to moonlight

Dec 8, 2016

Some Japanese firms encouraging enterprising staff to moonlight

As the government pushes flexible working arrangements under its labor market reforms, more and more firms are letting employees take on second jobs. Struggling with a labor shortage, such companies seek to secure talented human resources by allowing employees more flexibility in their work. ...

Food drives on the rise as Japan's poverty woes expand

Oct 30, 2016

Food drives on the rise as Japan's poverty woes expand

Food drives, volunteer activities to stockpile, donate and distribute food to needy people, are increasing in Japan as poverty expands. “There are people supported by the food you donate,” reads a message on the Kizuna (bond) Box in the corner of a supermarket in ...

'Cosmetic therapy' said to stem dementia's effect on seniors

Jul 17, 2016

'Cosmetic therapy' said to stem dementia's effect on seniors

Applying makeup may halt the progress of dementia among elderly people, helping keep their brains active, recent studies say. Cosmetic therapy also appears to be effective in treating depression in younger people and stress. In 2013 Shiseido Co., the nation’s largest cosmetics firm, launched ...

LGBT support grows among Japan schools

Jun 15, 2016

LGBT support grows among Japan schools

Standing before about 140 high school students, Subaru Yamashita describes how he is physically and emotionally male and that he is attracted to men. “There is more than just male or female when it comes to a person’s physical and mental genders, and what ...

Women starting to climb corporate ladders, but ascent is slow

Feb 10, 2016

Women starting to climb corporate ladders, but ascent is slow

Women aged around 50 who started working soon after the equal employment opportunity law came into force in Japan in 1986 are now assuming executive positions in major companies. But these women are just a small cadre of female professionals who have broken through ...

More career-track wives working away from families

Apr 1, 2015

More career-track wives working away from families

Tokiko Nakayama speaks to her 6- and 3-year-old sons via her computer at a company apartment for 20 to 30 minutes before going to work every morning. Nakayama, 36, is among an increasing number of female company employees working away from their families. Hired ...