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Mariko Kato
For Mariko Kato's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 8, 2009
Government day care falling short
The line of children waiting to get into government-subsidized day care is swelling for the first time in five years, a sign of these recessionary times, some observers say. But for others it is merely the latest blow in a long-term problem, especially for working mothers unable to leave their toddlers in capable hands.
JAPAN / Q&A
May 2, 2009
Tips to prepare for influenza outbreak
Concern about the new flu, called a type H1N1, is spreading in Japan as global alert levels have been raised regarding a possible pandemic.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 24, 2009
Yokohama opens anniversary expo for preview
YOKOHAMA — Under the theme "Set Sail!" an exposition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama port kicks off Tuesday. Organizers say the event combines mechanical and technological spectacles with environmentally friendly messages.
Japan Times
JAPAN / MIXED MATCHES
Apr 18, 2009
Not love at first sight, but love at first date for couple
Canadian Vanessa Hayes knew even before her first date with Michio Kiyomiya that she would end up marrying him, although it wasn't quite love at first sight.
JAPAN
Apr 16, 2009
JTA still upbeat about reaching 2020 target
Despite the strong yen, the government remains optimistic about achieving its target of attracting 20 million annual foreign visitors by 2020, the head of the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 9, 2009
Aiiku Hospital, too, feeling pinch
Aiiku Hospital, a perinatal care center in Tokyo for high-risk pregnancies widely considered one of the best for expectant mothers, recently applied to the metropolitan government to end its emergency 24-hour status, underlining the serious shortage of doctors to treat pregnant women.
JAPAN
Apr 7, 2009
Tokyo's mood mixed over rocket launch
There was a mixture of anger and surprise on the streets of Tokyo on Monday over North Korea's rocket launch.
Japan Times
Events / WHERE IT'S AT
Apr 7, 2009
Kenyan Embassy puts positive spin on charity cause
Impoverished children, war-torn homes, towns ravaged by epidemics, land devastated by floods and droughts — these are some of the most powerful images of Africa, and also the most commonly used to encourage charity donations. But, organizers of a fundraising event for Kenyan children late last month decided to paint a different picture by putting the country's exuberant culture under the spotlight — at a fashion show.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 28, 2009
Tohoku on alert for North Korean rocket debris
Akita Prefecture resident Ritsuko Sasaki is resigned to the possibility that a part of the rocket North Korea is expected to launch early next month could come crashing down in her area.
JAPAN
Mar 27, 2009
172 teachers lose suit over 'Kimigayo'
The Tokyo District Court rejected a damages suit Thursday filed by 172 teachers who were punished for refusing to sing the "Kimigayo" national anthem at school events.
JAPAN
Mar 26, 2009
Director claims new film helped Oe beat lawsuit
Korean-resident film director Pak Su Nam said Wednesday that a confession appearing in her latest documentary about mass murder-suicides by civilians in Okinawa in 1945 helped dismiss a lawsuit against writer Kenzaburo Oe.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 20, 2009
First CT scan made of eggs inside coelacanth
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology carried out Wednesday what is believed to be the first CT scan of eggs inside a coelacanth, according to Norihiro Okada, a bioscience professor at the university and a member of the research team.
JAPAN
Mar 20, 2009
Medical translation course starts in May
Japan's first full-scale medical translation course will start in May at translation colleges run by Inter Group Co. to produce trained interpreters for hospitals.
JAPAN
Mar 19, 2009
Don't need stimulus pay? Donate it
For those unsure of how to spend their government cash handouts or opposed to the measure itself, there is now a systematic way to donate the money to charity.
JAPAN
Mar 19, 2009
Tokyo-area restaurants join Africa water drive
One way to spend the government's cash handout this three-day weekend is to dine out — and in the process donate clean water to African children to celebrate World Water Day.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 17, 2009
Michelin Japan guide makes French debut
The Japan edition of the Michelin Green Guide travel books debuted Monday in bookstores in France.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 14, 2009
High food hygiene costs choking export growth
Strict hygiene criteria in importing countries and the high cost food producers have to shoulder to meet such requirements are limiting the export of Japanese food, experts said at a recent symposium set up by the Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad, or JRO.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 5, 2009
Elementary school English: Ready or not
Poor English skills and coordination with visiting English speakers are just two of the problems worrying elementary school teachers as the government's two-year transition period to inaugurate weekly classes in the language begins next month.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 26, 2009
Fall in U.S. Japanese students worrisome
In a bid to stop the dramatic decline in Japanese studying in the United States, representatives of U.S. colleges and universities met Wednesday with education minister Ryu Shionoya to demand that Japan improve efforts to promote study abroad.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Feb 24, 2009
Christianity's long history in the margins
Prime Minister Taro Aso may be a proclaimed Christian, but as far as the spread of the faith among the populace, it finds only a marginal presence.

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