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Mariko Kato
For Mariko Kato's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Aug 11, 2009
Todai still beckons nation's best, brightest but goals diversifying
For more than 130 years, the University of Tokyo has been unrivaled as the gateway to elite careers for thousands of hopeful candidates who pass the exam to get in.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 4, 2009
Those off lay judge hook feel relieved
Relief was the overriding emotion of the candidates who weren't picked in a final lottery draw Monday to participate in the first criminal trial under the new lay judge system.
Japan Times
JAPAN / MIXED MATCHES
Jul 25, 2009
Belgian no waffler on love, life in Japan
Pascal Latui, 28, first fell for Yumiko, 36, on a backpacking trip in Japan in June 2006. She was a receptionist at the Tokyo youth hostel where he was staying.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHO'S WHO
Jul 14, 2009
Wit, humor help longtime columnist come to grips with life in Japan
Freelance journalist and longtime Japan resident Thomas Dillon was at first shy of being on the receiving end of questions.
JAPAN
Jul 14, 2009
Ishihara must face the opposition
The Democratic Party of Japan's rise to pre-eminence in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly may force Gov. Shintaro Ishihara to bend on some of his more controversial policies, notably the funding of troubled lender Shinginko Tokyo, according to observers.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 1, 2009
Key gripes converge in Tokyo poll
With the July 12 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election drawing near, opposition parties are beginning to attack the contentious policies endorsed by the bureaucracy and Gov. Shintaro Ishihara.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 24, 2009
Pattern found when stars of love align
When people searching for love find their perfect mate, they often liken the convergence to "chemistry" — that special something that brings one certain individual to the head of the class.
Japan Times
Events / WHERE IT'S AT
Jun 23, 2009
Global torch run lights up day for Kamakura children
In a tranquil neighborhood surrounded by green mountains in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, near a trickling brook and houses with colorful gardens, a group of excited children, aged 4 and 5, emerged from Kobato Nursery school, and headed for a nearby park.
JAPAN
Jun 19, 2009
An organ in U.S. won't be cheap
Japanese who traveled to the United States to get new hearts were charged as much as about $1.63 million for the operation in 2008, or five times higher than in previous years, medical sources well-versed in organ transplants said Thursday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 19, 2009
Both Japan, U.S. must improve their 'soft power': experts
The world's two largest economies should reinvigorate their collaborative use of "soft power" to influence other countries as they approach a milestone year in their security alliance, participants said at a recent symposium that included key U.S. commentators on diplomacy.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 6, 2009
Occupation orphan traces roots
For New Yorker Demian Akhan, 60, his recent visit to Japan marked the end of a decades-long journey to discover his roots.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 30, 2009
Little alternative to risky flu drugs
Many may wonder at the use of Tamiflu to treat young victims of the H1N1 flu, given reports in recent years of teen deaths linked to the antiviral drug. But experts say prescribing Tamiflu is inevitable because there are only limited alternatives for combating the latest virus.
Japan Times
JAPAN / YOKOHAMA AT 150
May 27, 2009
Newspapers opened eyes in Yokohama
Second in a series
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 23, 2009
Housewives' essays tell other story of Japan
"Manga," "anime," kabuki, geisha — these are some of the images of Japanese culture that Westerners are most familiar with. But one writers' club is seeking to shift the spotlight with their recently published English-language book about everyday life in Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 22, 2009
Tokyo health centers swamped by callers
Worried callers are swamping phone lines at health centers near the school and homes of two Tokyo-area high school students confirmed to have swine flu.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHO'S WHO
May 19, 2009
Veteran Tokyo journalist convinced some things just never change
Having lived in Japan for 45 years, 70-year-old British journalist Henry Scott Stokes has seen Japan go through more changes than virtually any other foreign resident has.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 19, 2009
Virus could reach Tokyo anytime
With more than 130 new cases of swine flu detected in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures, an expert on infectious diseases warns the new virus could reach Tokyo within days.
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
May 19, 2009
Weight of Imperial world on Princess Masako
Observers often liken Crown Princess Masako to Britain's Princess Diana. They both embody the fairy tale gone tragically wrong — women outside the royal circle wooed by the heir to the throne, only to end up clashing with the establishment and surrounded by controversy and speculation that has made them fodder for the media.
Japan Times
JAPAN / CITIZEN JUSTICE
May 14, 2009
Determining sentences seen as lay judges' hardest task
Third in a series
JAPAN
May 10, 2009
Activists to lobby for improved child care
A new activist group campaigning for better child care policies in Japan said at its inaugural event Saturday that it intends to put direct pressure on the government by highlighting Japan's shortcomings compared with other countries.

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores