Tomoko Otake

Tomoko Otake is a staff features writer. Originally from Japan’s ancient capital of Nara, she graduated from the University of Montana with an M.A. in journalism.

For Tomoko Otake's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

U.S. trans fat ban prompts call for better Japan labeling

| Jul 20, 2015

U.S. trans fat ban prompts call for better Japan labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s move last month to phase out artificial trans fats over three years from all processed foods has made few ripples in Japan, where there are currently no regulations on the oil. Health and food safety authorities here said ...

Tokyo hospitals to add five foreign doctors for expats

Jul 19, 2015

Tokyo hospitals to add five foreign doctors for expats

The government will allow five non-Japanese doctors to practice at four hospitals in Tokyo from around December. Their patients will be limited to non-Japanese who agree to pay full costs themselves. The move, proposed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and approved by the central ...

Hamp case gave oxycodone a bad name, say doctors

Jul 14, 2015

Hamp case gave oxycodone a bad name, say doctors

The high-profile arrest of former Toyota Motor Corp. executive Julie Hamp last month over importing oxycodone might fuel prejudice in Japan against the narcotic painkillers and other strong pain-relieving drugs, experts fear. Hamp, the automaker’s first female managing officer, was released by police without ...

Jul 14, 2015

Explaining Japan's tough drug rules

Some medications available through prescription or over the counter in the U.S. are prohibited in Japan and cannot be brought into the country. Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis and stimulant drugs, including some prescription medications such as Adderall, are prohibited. There are no exceptions ...

Nintendo's virtual warriors secure same-sex marriage victory

Jun 25, 2015

Nintendo's virtual warriors secure same-sex marriage victory

In a sign of the growing embrace of diversity in virtual reality, Nintendo Co. said Thursday its Fire Emblem fantasy role-playing game series now allows characters to have same-sex relationships. The “Fire Emblem if” video game, which is played on the Nintendo 3DS console ...

Canadian sailor has Japan solo circumnavigation in sight

Jun 24, 2015

Canadian sailor has Japan solo circumnavigation in sight

A Canadian ex-executive who once served as dean and president of Temple University Japan is getting closer to making history — as probably the first foreigner to sail solo around Japan. Kirk Patterson, 61, has been trying to circumnavigate Japan on his sailboat since ...

Jun 20, 2015

'Trying to conceive through science is a roller-coaster ride'

When Maiko Okada visited a fertility clinic in Tokyo for the first time five years ago, she was totally unprepared for the roller-coaster ride of emotions she would subsequently experience. “I visited the clinic casually to see if I had any problems getting pregnant,” ...