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 Alex K.T. Martin

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Alex K.T. Martin
Alex K.T. Martin is a Tokyo-based journalist and senior writer at The Japan Times, primarily focusing on feature stories. Previously he was a Tokyo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 30, 2018
Minyo Crusaders sing a song from every corner of Japan
A muffled bass line is soon matched by Katsumi Tanaka's staccato electric guitar riff loosely emulating a shamisen. Congas and timbales start grooving in the rhythm of cumbia before the horn section dives in, setting the stage for Fredy Tsukamoto to belt out a high-pitched, vibrato-filled rendition of...
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies / IDEAS IN ACTION
Aug 29, 2018
The sky is the canvas: Tokyo startup looks to launch world's first artificial meteor shower
It was literally an out-of-this-world idea that seemed unfeasible when it struck her nearly two decades ago: Made-to-order shooting stars. But Lena Okajima's audacious project to reproduce nature's fireworks for mass entertainment is getting ready for takeoff.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Aug 28, 2018
Startup takes stress out of fed-up workers' exit plans
There was the 24-year-old insurance saleswoman who got sick of being yelled at when she couldn't reach her quota. Then there's the exhausted designer who clocked 160 hours of monthly overtime. And the ramen noodle shop employee who suffered stress to the point of developing depression.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Entertainment news
Aug 15, 2018
Made men: Tokyo-based 'yakuza' talent agency delivers the real deal
They aren't just acting tough; they really are tough.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Aug 11, 2018
Unsolved mysteries: Japanese fans of the occult are engaged in a never-ending search for the truth
Whether it's tales of hauntings, spirits or paranormal phenomena, Yuki Yoshida loves a good scare.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 24, 2018
Flea market apps transforming Japan's thrift culture
When strapped for cash before his next paycheck, Ryo Takezawa would trudge over to the nearest Bookoff, the nation's largest chain of secondhand bookstores, to sell his novels and CDs.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 4, 2018
‘Deep’ tourism explores the darker side of Tokyo
...
Japan Times
JAPAN / History / Defining the Heisei Era
Jun 23, 2018
Defining the Heisei Era: Japan experiences a hangover
The Japan Times presents the second installment of a monthly 12-part series that looks back at the leading issues of the past three decades.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 12, 2018
Itoshima: How a beach community is drawing newcomers amid rural depopulation
Swapping his dress shoes and business suit for flip-flops and swimming trunks, Shingo Takei starts the day by walking to the beach to go stand-up paddleboarding.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 5, 2018
The two-sister circus of Charan-Po-Rantan
Koharu Matsunaga used to be a fixture on Tokyo's busking circuit, belting out tunes on her button accordion with her gypsy brass band at popular tourist stops like Ueno Park.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 18, 2018
All aboard: Exploring Japan's abandoned train lines
Admiring the decaying beauty of abandoned railroads is just one of myriad hobbies Japan's railway enthusiasts indulge in.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 10, 2018
In the countryside, success starts with coffee: Niseko pioneer
The thriving Hokkaido ski resort of Niseko is considered an anomaly among the many rural communities in Japan facing a slow demise from the shrinking and graying population.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 29, 2018
Canned chūhai drinks thrive on salaryman buzz
"When life gives us lemons, we make -196˚ C Strong Zero Double Lemon!"
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 26, 2018
Pop star Tatsuya Yamaguchi to take 'hard look at himself' as he apologizes for forcibly kissing teen
Teary-eyed and his voice shaking, pop star Tatsuya Yamaguchi apologized Thursday for kissing and engaging in indecent behavior with a high school-aged girl in a career-crushing scandal leading to his indefinite suspension from show business.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 24, 2018
Endangered bat, believed to be extinct locally, discovered in former U.S. training area in Okinawa
A former U.S. military training site in Okinawa Prefecture provided a precious refuge for a critically endangered bat unseen on the prefecture's main island for 22 years. The Yanbaru whiskered bat (Myotis yanbarensis) was captured by a research team two months ago, Kyoto University revealed Monday.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 12, 2018
Toys R Us in talks to sell majority stake in Asia unit, including Japan business
Beleaguered retail chain Toys R Us Inc. is negotiating to sell its 85 percent stake in its Asian business, including the Japan operations.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 11, 2018
U.S. ride-hailing provider Lyft considers offering services in Japan
U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc. is considering providing its services in Japan, a market where rival Uber Technologies Inc. has so far seen limited success due to regulatory hurdles.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 10, 2018
Japan's ¥1,000 departure tax: Diet approves law on use of revenue from levy set to start in 2019
The government aims to use the funds to boost tourism infrastructure and promote travel destinations in rural Japan.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 6, 2018
Rakuten Inc. gets approval to become nation's fourth major wireless carrier
E-commerce giant granted access to a fierce competition for subscribers alongside industry heavyweights who have long dominated the cellular market.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 5, 2018
Japan faces losses on grain, production fronts if U.S.-China trade war erupts
Firms in Japan could be affected by the escalating trade row if they source production in China, export grain from U.S. subsidiaries, or if U.S.-bound shipments from China fall.

Longform

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