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Mariko Kato
For Mariko Kato's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
BUSINESS
Nov 7, 2009
Dongguan official invites direct investment
A vice mayor of the Chinese industrial city of Dongguan urged Japanese manufacturers Friday to expand on its turf and exploit its domestic market to help the city recover from the global economic crisis and fall in exports.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 1, 2009
Vienna looks to alter staid image by design
Mozart, Freud, Klimt. Those who came to Vienna in centuries gone by to join the heart of European activity are now the very attractions that draw crowds of tourists to the Austrian capital today.
JAPAN
Oct 29, 2009
'Comfort women' bill gets new life
The new administration must ensure the Diet passes a bill recognizing the women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during the war if it is to form the East Asian Community proposed by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, nine ruling party lawmakers said Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Q&A
Oct 23, 2009
Lowdown on H1N1 vaccinations
With swine flu inoculations now under way for medical workers, other people may be anxious about when it will be their turn. As cooler weather sets in, and with it higher risks of contracting the new H1N1 virus, the government is administering vaccinations on a priority basis, with healthy working-age adults getting their shots probably in the first few months of next year.
JAPAN
Oct 23, 2009
N.Y., London, Paris still beat Tokyo
Factoring together culture, environment, economy and accessibility, Tokyo ranks fourth out of 35 major cities worldwide and only, but still, lags behind leader New York, No. 2 London and third-place Paris, but it has the potential to go higher, a report released Thursday by an urban development research center says.
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Oct 20, 2009
Abortion still key birth control
People may be surprised to know abortion has been legal in Japan since 1949, more than a decade earlier than in other industrialized countries.
Japan Times
Events / WHERE IT'S AT
Oct 20, 2009
Chiba's Highland Games offer true flavor of Scotland
Idle dog-walkers and shoppers around JR Makuhari Station were met with an unusual spectacle one sunny Sunday morning earlier this month. A large-framed blond man in a kilt sauntered past the shopping complex; then a group of Japanese women adorned in checked sashes came skipping along the intersection. The breeze brought a faint smell of haggis, followed by the unmistakable sound of bagpipes.
JAPAN
Oct 16, 2009
Fukuoka cops free American who tried to get kids back
An American man who was arrested in Fukuoka for allegedly abducting his children in order to regain custody has been released from jail, police said Thursday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / CABINET INTERVIEW
Oct 9, 2009
Education chief takes liberal path
New education minister Tatsuo Kawabata says he will give more control of schools to local governments and increase practical learning, indicating a turn away from the conservative policies of previous administrations.
JAPAN
Oct 7, 2009
Japan hit over child porn
The head of UNICEF on Tuesday condemned Japan's laws on child pornography, saying the country is falling behind global standards and is guilty of spreading illegal material abroad.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 4, 2009
Lack of vision, flair sank bid: experts
As Tokyo lost the race to host the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro early Saturday, experts, while praising the bid's promises of secure funding and safety, criticized it as lacking vision and panache.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 24, 2009
Etiquette 101 seminars a hit
How to enter a room with bamboo mats, where to place chopsticks, what not to wear — these are just some of the essential rules of etiquette young professionals are learning from Michiko Noguchi, a veteran restaurant mistress whose seminars on table manners are growing in popularity.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 19, 2009
JRP grads bridge cultures
A group of young foreigners who visited Japan as part of a study program and mastered the language announced their favorite Japanese words Tuesday to an admiring domestic crowd.
JAPAN
Sep 17, 2009
Voters want end to pork-barrel politics
As the Democratic Party of Japan formed one of the most hotly anticipated Cabinets in decades, many voters voiced hope the new administration will put a stop to wasteful spending while others remained skeptical it will be able to deliver on its key campaign promises.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 10, 2009
Women lack confidence, ambition for Diet: experts
Although last month's election brought an unprecedented number of women into the Lower House, female lawmakers both at home and abroad are still subject to double standards and lack the ambition to take the stage in national politics, experts said at a recent symposium.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 1, 2009
Interest high among foreign media in 'historic' election
The Democratic Party of Japan's landslide victory election has stirred interest among foreign media, who generally view the ousting of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled almost without interruption for 54 years, as a positive sign of change.
JAPAN
Aug 31, 2009
Voters, fed up with LDP, say it's time for change
As the Democratic Party of Japan's stunning victory and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's resounding defeat was reported Sunday night, many voters on the streets of Tokyo said they savored their chance to vote for change.
JAPAN / ELECTION 2009
Aug 27, 2009
Political shift gives hope to gays
The possible power shift in Sunday's general election signals change for many, and one minority interest group is daring to hope it will bring about the biggest change yet.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 22, 2009
Japan's H1N1 cases at flu epidemic stage
On the basis of substantially increased hospitalizations, the H1N1 swine flu outbreak was declared an epidemic by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases on Friday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2009
Aug 13, 2009
Parties wave flag for child-rearing
Child-rearing support is a focal issue in the campaign for the Aug. 30 election as the two main parties fight to woo parents, especially those who both work or have young children.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on