Takuya Asakura

For Takuya Asakura's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jan 4, 2003

EU challenge drags exclusivity of press clubs into spotlight

The European Union may have challenged one of Japan’s toughest barriers to free trade when it called for the abolition of the nation’s “kisha” press club system. Recommending regulatory reforms, the EU claimed in an October report that journalists’ access to the nation’s authorities ...

Reluctance to accept refugees draws fire

| Nov 29, 2002

Reluctance to accept refugees draws fire

Since October last year, there have been at least 34 cases in which asylum seekers at immigration facilities purposefully injured themselves, with some even going so far as to attempt suicide, the Justice Ministry has admitted. The figure was revealed by a ministry official ...

'Multicultural studio' offers hope

Nov 28, 2002

'Multicultural studio' offers hope

Teenagers gathered one weekday evening at an old two-story building next to a housing project in a Yokohama suburb. It had been nearly three years since volunteer worker Hideki Hayakawa and his staff, mainly college students, had opened the “multicultural studio,” extending support to ...

Education for some refugees is ray of hope

| Nov 27, 2002

Education for some refugees is ray of hope

The men in uniform white shirts and dark shorts sitting in the classroom looked too old to be junior high school students; some had gray hair, close-cropped. The students are attending Kiri Branch School of Asahi-machi Junior High School, the only junior high school ...

Japan tries to reform refugee system

| Nov 26, 2002

Japan tries to reform refugee system

Japan has often been criticized for closing its doors to asylum seekers. Following the high-profile incident in May at the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang, China, in which Japanese officials let Chinese police take a family of North Korean asylum seekers out of the ...

Prison abuses in spotlight following guard arrests

Nov 13, 2002

Prison abuses in spotlight following guard arrests

The ongoing allegations of abuse of inmates at Nagoya Prison have highlighted human rights concerns that have been raised by domestic and international watchdogs over Japan’s prison system. Last Friday, prosecutors arrested five guards at the prison, including the head guard, Takashi Watanabe, for ...

Nov 10, 2002

GSDF joins forces with police to combat terrorism

The Ground Self-Defense Force will begin joint exercises with the National Police Agency to help prepare the GSDF for terrorist attacks that are beyond the capabilities of the police. The joint exercise, scheduled for Nov. 18, will be the first of its kind conducted ...

'Kabukicho guide' offers punters a walk on the wild side

| Sep 29, 2002

'Kabukicho guide' offers punters a walk on the wild side

Sporting a pinstripe suit, a wiry figure hovers on the main street of Shinjuku Ward’s Kabukicho — Tokyo’s busiest and arguably seediest entertainment district. Every night for 14 years, Lee Xiaomu has approached foreign visitors roaming the neon-glittering streets and offered to escort them ...

Sep 12, 2002

Public responds to mayors' U.S. barbs

Criticism leveled last month by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba at the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has provoked a major reaction both at home and abroad. Akiba said during his speech on Aug. 6, the 57th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing ...

Aug 31, 2002

'Confessed' killer awaits appeal ruling

It has been nearly five years since Manalili Villanueva Rosal was taken into custody on suspicion of murdering her lover in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture. “I would never be able to take the life of someone I love with all my heart,” Rosal, 30, told ...