Alex K.T. Martin


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.
For Alex K.T. Martin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
Mar 3, 2022
The game of life, reimagined for a superaging society
In Community Coping, players are tasked with preventing communities from collapsing by connecting troubled residents with the right experts.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Feb 14, 2022
How social norms have influenced Japan’s COVID-19 response
Without any legally enforceable lockdown measures, the watchful gaze of the public eye has kept the nationu2019s citizens in check.
Japan Times
Feb 9, 2022
Raging river: Tracing the Arakawa, Japan’s most dangerous water source
While supplying Tokyoites with drinking water, the river has also been prone to deadly floods over the centuries u2014 risks that are now being escalated by climate change.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / Longform
Jan 10, 2022
So close, yet so far: What will travel look like in 2022?
Japanu2019s battered tourism operators are somewhat hopeful that travel will regain its footing this year while incorporating the lessons learned from the past two tumultuous years.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / Longform
Dec 25, 2021
Child adoption slowly gains ground in Japan, though prospective parents still face obstacles
Child adoption slowly gains ground in Japan, though prospective parents still face a number of obstacles in trying to expand their families.
Japan Times
Dec 19, 2021
Tokyo exodus: Is the capital losing its luster among businesses?
Firms are moving their headquarters out of the metropolis at a record-setting pace amid the proliferation of remote work and growing risks of natural disasters.
Japan Times
Dec 3, 2021
Pair of quakes shake Japan and prompt fears of more seismic activity to come
A magnitude 4.9 earthquake jolted eastern Yamanashi at around 6:30 a.m., which was followed by a magnitude 5.4 temblor in Wakayama three hours later.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / Longform
Nov 29, 2021
On shaky ground: Is Tokyo prepared for the ‘Big One’?
A powerful earthquake that shook the capital in October has fueled fresh fears of an impending temblor that could devastate the worldu2019s largest city.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / Longform
Nov 22, 2021
Deflation generation: Japan’s budget-minded consumers keep price hikes in check
Decades of stagnant wages and low prices have ingrained a u201cdeflationary mindsetu201d into shoppers who are hesitant to spend more, thwarting policymakersu2019 efforts to fan inflation.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Nov 10, 2021
Japan's loneliness epidemic
Surveys of the Japanese public show that 1 in 2 people in their 20s and 30s have felt lonely during the pandemic.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / Longform
Oct 29, 2021
Voter apathy looms over yet another election in Japan
Efforts are underway to buoy turnout amid widespread political disenchantment, especially among the young. Will more eligible voters exercise their rights during the Lower House election?
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / Longform
Oct 25, 2021
Kodoku: The fine line between solitude and loneliness in Japan
The nation appears to be showing remarkable tolerance toward COVID-induced social isolation, but are people really fine being alone?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Oct 21, 2021
Extinct Japanese wolf may hold key to unlocking origins of dogs
Genomic sequencing suggests the mysterious animal, considered extinct since 1905, is the closest relative of dogs and that its ancestral DNA has been widely inherited by manu2019s best friend.
Japan Times
Oct 14, 2021
The drones are coming: Unmanned machines fly to rural Japan's rescue
Aging and shrinking communities in the nationu2019s countryside are looking to the sky for essential deliveries.
Japan Times
Sep 30, 2021
Japan’s growing ‘underclass’ creaks under weight of pandemic
The nation's wealth gap is widening as the health crisis drags on, disproportionately burdening women and the expanding pool of nonpermanent workers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Longform
Sep 27, 2021
How to retire in Japan decades earlier than you think
Japanu2019s pioneers of the FIRE movement u2014 u2018financial independence, retire earlyu2019 u2014 believe in living below oneu2019s means early in life so they're able to stop working well before retirement age.
Japan Times
Sep 19, 2021
COVID-19 was expected to spur a remote-work revolution in Japan. What happened?
A lack of digital infrastructure and an archaic corporate culture that values long working hours and face-to-face meetings is slowing down the nationu2019s push toward working remotely.
Japan Times
OLYMPICS / Longform
Aug 14, 2021
The race is on to define the legacy of Tokyo 2020
It may be too early to determine a legacy for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but that won't stop people from trying to define it even before the Paralympics have yet to begin.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Aug 7, 2021
Tokyo tomorrow: What comes after the 2020 Games?
Rebuilt from the war and continually building back stronger, the 1964 Olympics gave Tokyo an identity. Will the 2020 Games do the same?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Aug 2, 2021
Tokyo today: A city in a state of perpetual rebuilding
When you think of Tokyo, what do you think of? Is it the chaotic commercialism of Shibuya or the temples nestled in the city's backstreets?


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