Kanako Takahara




Kanako Takahara
Kanako Takahara is a staff writer who has covered national politics, diplomacy, business and the economy at The Japan Times. A graduate of Sophia University, she is currently a national news editor.
For Kanako Takahara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said that customer harassment was becoming an increasing problem for companies in the capital.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 20, 2024
Tokyo to draft ordinance to curb harassment by customers
The harassment of front-line workers by customers has become a growing trend in the capital, Gov. Yuriko Koike said.
Karolina Shiino (center), winner of Miss Japan 2024, poses with other prize winners at the contest in Tokyo on Jan. 22.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 6, 2024
Ukraine-born Miss Japan relinquishes crown following affair
Karolina Shiino's decision, the first time a Miss Japan winner has relinquished their title, follows a report that she was dating a married man.
A woman offers flowers for victims of the New Year's Day earthquake near the morning market in the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Thursday. Most buildings in the market were burned down in a fire that followed the quake.
Feb 1, 2024
One month after Noto quake, challenges remain in restoration effort
About 14,000 people are still living at evacuation shelters as officials race to repair infrastructure in the region.
Takuo Komori, parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs, bows after speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 31, 2024
Two Abe faction members resign as vice ministers over funds scandal
The latest development in the scandal currently enveloping the LDP comes as the opposition is expected to gear up its criticism of the ruling party.
Volunteers work at the site of a soy sauce-maker in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Jan 31, 2024
Quake-hit Noto faces a long road to recovery. Here's how you can help.
After initially asking people to refrain from coming as volunteers, municipalities in Ishikawa are now open to outside help.
A courtroom sketch shows Shinji Aoba at the Kyoto District Court on Thursday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 25, 2024
Kyoto Animation arsonist given death penalty over 2019 mass murder
A Kyoto court found Shinji Aoba guilty of setting a studio on fire because of a grudge he held against Kyoto Animation, in one of Japan's deadliest mass murders.
The streets of disaster-hit Suzu in Ishikawa Prefecture on Wednesday
Jan 24, 2024
Quake-hit Noto and Sea of Japan coast face heavy snowfall
Authorities have warned of possible road closures and the suspension of public transportation due to icy roads and snow.
A man prays on July 19, 2019, outside the Kyoto Animation building where 36 people died in a fire caused by Shinji Aoba the previous day.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 24, 2024
Possible death penalty looms for Kyoto Animation arson suspect
The trial shed light on his upbringing, the emergence of his grudge against the studio and how he went ahead with his plan of attack despite some hesitation.
A clock thrown away at a trash site in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday shows the approximate time that an earthquake hit the area on Jan. 1.
JAPAN / Society
Jan 19, 2024
Nanao mayor says Line group chat was essential to relief efforts
The group chat consisting of 300 municipal leaders nationwide allowed Yoshitaka Chatani to directly communicate with other mayors who were eager to help.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference on Dec. 13.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 18, 2024
Kishida aims to disband his faction amid political funds scandals
The move would mark a bid to restore public trust toward politics amid a series of political funds scandals.
The gallery and judges for the trial of Yuki Endo over a 2021 murder case, in Kofu District Court in Yamanashi Prefecture on Thursday
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 18, 2024
In first, 'specified juvenile' handed death sentence over Kofu murder
It is the first time a defendant age 18 or 19 at the time of a crime has been given the death penalty following the lowering of the age of adulthood.
A man was found dead in a suitcase along the Tamagawa River in Kawasaki, police have said.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 31, 2023
Body found in suitcase along Tama River in Kawasaki
Police open murder probe after body of 46-year-old man is discovered.
Lower House lawmaker Mito Kakizawa (back right) when he was appointed deputy justice minister in September
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 28, 2023
Japanese lawmaker Kakizawa arrested over vote-buying allegations
The former LDP member allegedly gave bribes to assembly members in Tokyo’s Koto Ward to garner support for a candidate in the Koto mayoral election.
Koichi Hagiuda (left), the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s former policy chief, has been questioned by Tokyo prosecutors over a political funds scandal.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 26, 2023
Prosecutors question former LDP policy chief over funds scandal
Koichi Hagiuda has become the latest veteran lawmaker to be questioned on a voluntary basis over the political funds scandal.
An Aladdin X staff member plays Suika Game on its home projector in Tokyo on Friday. Suika Game was originally developed for the company's line of home projectors.
Dec 25, 2023
Suika Game: How a Japanese home projector app became a viral hit
The puzzle game has ranked No. 1 in Nintendo Switch software downloads, topping titles such as Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
A meeting is held at the Liberal Democratic Party's headquarters in Tokyo on Friday to officially replace two of the party's executives.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 22, 2023
In search for top officials, Kishida constrained by funds scandal
The limited number of viable candidates not suspected of misconduct means new appointees look more likely to be stopgap replacements.
Tokyo police officers head to host clubs in the Kabukicho district in Shinjuku Ward for inspections on Friday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 20, 2023
Women arrested for prostitution in Shinjuku tripled in 2023
The issue of women going into prostitution as a result of loans used to finance host club visits has become a huge problem.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a news conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo on Wednesday
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 15, 2023
Kishida's approval rate falls into dangerous territory amid scandal
The rate is the worst figure for a prime minister from the Liberal Democratic Party in more than a decade.
Incoming Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi arrives at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 14, 2023
Kishida axes Abe faction members from government over funds scandal
In replacing nearly a dozen ministers and officials, the prime minister is attempting to contain the worst crisis of his administration so far.
Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Koichi Hagiuda (center) attends a party hosted by his faction, which was previously led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in May in Tokyo.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 13, 2023
Focus turns to replacements as scandal-hit LDP ministers face ax
In a news conference Wednesday evening, Fumio Kishida said he would make replacements the following day but declined to comment on the details.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves