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Atsushi Kodera
For Atsushi Kodera's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
JAPAN
Jan 28, 2016
Osaka moves to allow foreign housekeepers
Osaka Prefecture has decided to go ahead with a national government program allowing foreign nationals to work as housekeepers as part of a larger push toward greater participation of women in the workforce.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Entertainment news
Jan 19, 2016
SMAP fans relieved but perplexed by apology over rumored breakup
Exceptional TV ratings, the apparent overloading of Twitter's servers and even a comment by the prime minister show the importance that Japan placed on the announcement that SMAP isn't breaking up.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Jan 18, 2016
Rescues point to dangers of searching out backcountry powder
Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have come under scrutiny after the recent rescue of two groups of skiers stranded in mountains in Nagano and Fukushima prefectures.
Japan Times
JAPAN / NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Jan 17, 2016
Foreign tourism emerges as bright spot amid Japan's dim economic prospects
With few positive signs of recovery for Japan's slumping economy, foreign tourism remains a sole ray of hope, and tourism authorities, local governments, industry players as well as retailers are eagerly awaiting another possibly record-breaking surge in Chinese tourists during next month's Chinese New Year holiday.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jan 5, 2016
From longer hours to all-you-can drink offers, Japan's restaurants evolve in battle for customers
Change is in the air — you can smell it.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Dec 30, 2015
Economy tipped for gradual recovery in 2016 following year of sluggish growth
Japan's economy fell short of expectations for a solid recovery in 2015, but it is seen as likely to gain traction in fiscal 2016.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Dec 24, 2015
Japan's draft budget a firm move against fiscal headwinds
The record ¥96.7 trillion draft budget for fiscal 2016 is by many measures a feat, a key push in the government's efforts to cut spending.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 14, 2015
Two new Olympic stadium designs unveiled by Japan Sport Council
The Japan Sport Council on Monday unveiled two new stadium designs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that blend in better with the greenery-rich Yoyogi area and currently don't break the ¥155 billion budget.
BUSINESS
Dec 9, 2015
Low tax on food will hurt the poor, say economists
Political negotiations between the nation's ruling coalition are approaching a showdown over the unpopular consumption tax, which is set to rise to 10 percent from 8 percent in April 2017. A sweetener being considered has drawn scathing criticism from many economists.
JAPAN
Nov 26, 2015
Japan car insurer sets up translation service amid rising numbers of foreigners at the wheel
A major insurer is offering interpretation in five languages for motorists reporting accidents by phone, amid an influx of foreign visitors and the expectation that the fender bender rate will rise.
JAPAN
Nov 9, 2015
Attorney group to offer free advice to ID-less 'mukoseki' citizens
Japan's attorneys are planning a wide-scale effort to advise people trapped in mukoseki status who are deprived of basic government services because they do not appear on family registries and thus lack legal identity.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Nov 4, 2015
Japan Post goes public, shares soar above offering prices
The final phase of government plans to privatize postal services gets off to a good start as shares in three new companies soar above their offering prices.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 30, 2015
Retailers far from spooked as Japan's interest in Halloween grows
With Halloween conveniently falling on a Saturday this year, retailers are hoping to further capitalize on an event that by one estimate will generate ¥122 billion in Japan.
JAPAN
Oct 27, 2015
Shiga, Saga offering 24/7 multilingual phone help for tourists
Can I get a discount on this vase? How do I get to the ABC Hotel? Where can I find a Chinese-speaking doctor?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / EXPLAINER
Oct 26, 2015
Plan to hire more foreign housekeepers no easy chore, say industry players
The role of housekeepers has come under the spotlight as the government looks to them to provide working mothers with help at home as one way to prop up the nation's dwindling workforce.
JAPAN
Oct 21, 2015
Japan's overseas tourist arrivals surpass those of last year in just nine months
Japan continues its popularity as a tourist destination for East Asians with a record number of visitors in September pushing the total for 2015 past all of last year, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Thursday.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Oct 18, 2015
Much riding on giant Japan Post Group IPO
Three state-affiliated companies in the Japan Post Group are set to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as the government seeks to raise ¥1.4 trillion.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Oct 1, 2015
My Number poses dilemma for bar hostesses, others moonlighting after work
A dirty little secret of one Japanese "office lady" stereotype is that some women, dissatisfied with their clerical salaries, augment their earnings by moonlighting as bar hostesses.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 11, 2015
Typhoon Etau offers first glimpse of Minato Ward's new mudslide alert
As Typhoon Etau ripped northward across the central part of Japan this week, residents, office workers and pedestrians in Tokyo's Minato Ward had a surprise when their smartphones abruptly made an unfamiliar ringtone and the screen flashed an alert.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / 'SUMMER DAVOS' SPECIAL 2015
Sep 9, 2015
Leading English MBA program set to become available online
Featuring its unique ambition-inspiring kokorozashi, or personal mission, education and hands-on business education close to real-life experience, Globis University's Master of Business Administration program has rapidly grown into the largest and one of the highest-ranked MBA programs in Japan. Now the institution is set to take the English version of the program to a wider audience by bringing it online.

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