Hiroshi Matsubara
Sep 21, 2001
Detention process questioned
The alleged rape of a Japanese woman on June 29 by a U.S. serviceman in Okinawa has revived an old debate -- whether crime suspects are treated fairly during the investigative and trial process in Japan.
Sep 13, 2001
Programs for mentally ill out of hospitals fall short
Staff writer A typical busy morning at this "bento" delivery shop in Tokyo's Taito Ward starts at 9 a.m., when around 15 workers come to prepare over 100 boxed lunches to be delivered to nearby office buildings.
Sep 12, 2001
Psychiatric care still mired in Dark Ages
Staff writer Unlike the common image of mental institutions with tight security and barred windows, the Yowa Hospital in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, looks no different than a general hospital.
Aug 16, 2001
Legitimized foreigners urge more amnesty
A 15-year-old Iranian girl's first trip to her home country in 10 years last July began with a surprise welcome at Tehran airport by some 100 relatives.
Aug 11, 2001
Tobacco lobby keeps lid on state health plans
Staff writerSusumu Motojima, head of Japan Tobacco Inc.'s Kyoto branch, recently said smoking is a "pastime or habit an adult has the right to choose."
Aug 10, 2001
Smokers sue as Japan Tobacco denies causal links
Matao Yamamoto, a 67-year-old former Kyoto cab driver, is one of a large number of smokers in Japan who deeply regrets acquiring the hard-to-quit habit.
Jun 29, 2001
Coming out at the workplace the next big challenge for gays
During a party celebrating his election to a Tokyo ward assembly in April 1999, the candidate was being congratulated by supporters, as were his parents, who were hailed as the biggest contributors to the successful campaign.
Jun 29, 2001
Jury still out on child-killer's mental state
The Tokyo High Court's decision Thursday to uphold Tsutomu Miyazaki's death sentence was not surprising to many experts who have followed the case.
Jun 20, 2001
Sex change no cure for torment
In 1987, Masae Torai caught a flight to the United States with 4 million yen in savings to undergo a sex-reassignment operation and fulfill a long-held wish to become male.
May 31, 2001
Tobacco industry 'Insider' takes his campaign to Japan
Educational and grassroots activities will be crucial if Japan is to successfully reduce the nation's relatively high number of smokers and incidence of lung cancer -- one of the leading causes of death in this country, said scientist and tobacco educator Jeffrey Wigand.
May 12, 2001
Hansen's patients hope for dignity in society's eyes
Former patients of Hansen's disease are hoping their fight to restore the human rights they have long been deprived of will build public awareness and eventually lead to the creation of a society in which no one's dignity is denied.
Apr 21, 2001
Koreans weigh merits of gaining Japan citizenship
Staff writer One Hokkaido resident is too proud to give up his South Korean nationality despite the disadvantages it brings while living in Japan.
Apr 20, 2001
Foreigners face long slog to Japanese citizenship
Seven years after he became the first foreign sumo wrestler to win the revered Emperor's Cup in 1972, Jesse "Takamiyama" Kuhaulua applied for Japanese citizenship.
Mar 29, 2001
HIV-hit hemophiliacs fight on
When the government began allowing hemophiliacs to self-inject blood-clotting agents in 1981, Satoru Ienishi thought "spring had finally come" to a life plagued by problems stemming from the condition.
Mar 25, 2001
Tokyo sake breweries beset by winds of change
Tsuchiya Brewery in Tokyo's Komae is set to release Sakurako brand "jizake" (local sake), featuring the name of the future figurehead of the 128-year-old company.
Mar 23, 2001
Outcast Aum aids landlord's plan
A person may offer help when seeing someone in despair, or instead opt to benefit from that desperation by taking advantage of it.
Mar 4, 2001
Gynecologist takes sex crusade to Roppongi streets
When Tsuneo Akaeda opens his mouth to speak about the sex culture of Japan's younger generation, a tirade of sexual slang all the more surprising because of his professional and smart-suited exterior flows out.
Feb 25, 2001
Daytime crowds rediscover Tsukiji fish markets
The recent change in food distribution patterns has seen producers and large retailers connect directly, effectively marginalizing the nation's wholesalers. And Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market in Chuo Ward, better known as Tsukiji market, is no exception.
Feb 22, 2001
Labor program accused of profiteering
The arrest in November of Tadao Koseki, the former president of mutual-aid organization KSD, has highlighted the potentially lucrative nature of the Foreigners' Trainee System, the government-run program to train foreigners at firms in Japan.
Jan 14, 2001
Homelessness being tackled from new angle
Asked why he became homeless, he said he was a victim of the current economic trend.


Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world