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Mariko Kato
For Mariko Kato's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
JAPAN
Feb 18, 2009
Myanmar refugees to try resettling
As Japan prepares to take in Myanmarese from Thai refugee camps, it is important that the communities they resettle in fully support their integration into society, experts said at a recent Tokyo symposium held by the Foreign Ministry.
JAPAN
Feb 18, 2009
Clinton meets abductees' relatives, pledges to help find resolution
Relatives of people kidnapped by North Korea met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who stressed that international cooperation is key to resolving the long-running problem.
Japan Times
Events / WHERE IT'S AT
Feb 17, 2009
Correspondents, PR reps warm ties at annual 'Hacks & Flacks' dig
The relationship between a journalist and a corporate public relations representative can be a tense one. Journalists, pressured by deadlines, hound the PRs for precise and prompt information, while PRs, irritated and a bit bewildered by the incessant questioning, respond with gritted teeth.
JAPAN
Feb 17, 2009
Slump exposes holes in safety net
The recent massive layoffs of temporary employees by blue-chip firms have shocked and scared workers in a nation long known for accommodative labor relations and lifetime employment.
JAPAN
Feb 7, 2009
Canada fetes ties with programs
The Canadian Embassy called on Japanese schools and students Friday to apply for education-related programs it will launch to celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan this year.
BUSINESS
Feb 5, 2009
Fujitsu allows workers to moonlight to make ends meet
In a sign of the times, major electronics firm Fujitsu Ltd. is allowing some of its factory workers to hold second jobs to compensate for shorter working hours and lower wages amid the deepening recession, the company said Wednesday.
JAPAN
Jan 31, 2009
Teens face DoCoMo 'encounter' site ban
NTT DoCoMo Inc. on Friday became the first mobile phone company to automatically ban customers under 18 from accessing suspicious Internet dating sites as the government attempts to crack down on "deaikei" (encounter) crimes.
JAPAN
Jan 29, 2009
NHK to launch global 24-hour news channel
NHK will launch Japan's first 24-hour international broadcasting service on Feb. 2.
Japan Times
JAPAN / MIXED MATCHES
Jan 24, 2009
Couple share California dream, can't wait to get back in the States
Ever since Haruki Imaoka watched the popular American TV series "Beverly Hills, 90210," he had dreamed of marrying a good-looking Western girl. When he went to Los Angeles for college, he met local resident Laura Beltz in May 2004, and they hit it off right away.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 20, 2009
Tsukiji reopens tuna auctions to the public
The Tsukiji fish market, one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions, reopened its early morning tuna auctions to the public Monday after a monthlong ban.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Jan 17, 2009
Embroidery center gives women fabric for a future
For bank manager Miki Yoshida, her desire to do volunteer work in rural India started from an unlikely inspiration on an American expressway.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 14, 2009
Matchmakers' 'marriage hunts' beating out fate to secure mate
Many singles may prefer to leave it up to fate to find their significant other, but experts are saying those who elect to wait for "the one" may never make it to the altar.
JAPAN
Jan 14, 2009
Househusband not such a bad gig, one-third of men say
Nearly a third of married men would not mind being househusbands, according to a recent survey by the Housework Aptitude Test executive committee.
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Jan 13, 2009
Graduate job search in full swing, despite recession
Each year, the cherry blossoms of April are accompanied by the nervous march of over 400,000 fresh-faced graduates on their way to their new jobs.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 6, 2009
Hibiya Park tent city for jobless closes down
Some 500 jobless people, many of them laid-off temp workers, who spent the New Year's period encamped in Hibiya Park were relocated Monday to four other sites arranged by the welfare ministry after volunteers closed the temporary shelter in the heart of Tokyo.
Japan Times
Events / WHERE IT'S AT
Jan 6, 2009
Countdown party India style
Almost a quarter of the Indian community in eastern Tokyo, adults and children alike, shared a lively countdown party with Japanese locals on Dec. 31.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 1, 2009
Volunteers offer jobless temps free food, advice
Temp workers who have lost their jobs amid the global financial crisis lined up Wednesday for free food and consultations with volunteers at Tokyo's Hibiya Park.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 25, 2008
Job cuts hit dispatch firms hard
In the past few months, companies have started to cut workers to save costs. As well as growing to be a major social issue, slashing temp workers also means agencies dispatching such workers face an increasingly tough time.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Q&A
Dec 18, 2008
New U.S. entry requirement
The United States will launch a new immigration system starting Jan. 12 to try to prevent terrorists entering the country. This will require foreign short-stay visitors from 34 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, including Japan, to apply for travel authorization at a Web site in advance of boarding a plane or vessel headed for the U.S.
Japan Times
JAPAN / READERS' FUND
Dec 12, 2008
Helping Filipino schoolchildren
This is the first in a series of how contributions to The Japan Times Readers' Fund last year — the 53rd since the campaign started — are being put to use. The ¥940,595 readers donated in 2007 has gone to six organizations to finance humanitarian projects for needy people across Asia.

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