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 Masami Ito

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Masami Ito
Masami is a staff writer for the Life and Culture Division at The Japan Times. She is in charge of the weekly Sunday Timeout, covering various issues related to Japan, from alcohol/drug addiction and juvenile crime to female sushi chefs and kendama. Over her 15-year career, she has written extensively on Japanese politics, foreign policy and social issues.
For Masami Ito's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
JAPAN
Aug 4, 2012
Noda to meet protesters, to hear from both sides of nuclear divide
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday he plans to meet soon with organizers of the huge antinuclear protests staged weekly outside his office to hear their views against restarting idled reactors.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 2, 2012
Ozawa vows new party will dethrone Noda's DPJ
Ichiro Ozawa vowed Wednesday to devote himself to expanding the support network for his new party to knock the ruling Democratic Party of Japan off its throne in the next Lower House general election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 29, 2012
Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split
Hoping to head off a possible breakaway from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi met Thursday with Ichiro Ozawa, appealing to the party kingpin to stand behind Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and shore up unity.
JAPAN
Jun 28, 2012
LDP ups ante as Noda weighs Ozawa's fate
After more than 70 lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan rejected or abstained from voting on the contentious bill to hike the sales tax, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other DPJ executives began internal discussions Wednesday on how to punish the dissenters, mainly kingpin Ichiro Ozawa and his followers.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Jun 27, 2012
More hurdles in store for Noda
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda managed to get the Lower House to pass the contentious tax hike bill, but his troubles are far from over, as demonstrated by the no votes cast by the Democratic Party of Japan's kingpin, Ichiro Ozawa, and more than 50 of his followers.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Jun 26, 2012
Cremation finds favor even with royal clan
Cremation has been the norm for dealing with the deceased in modern-day Japan — where communities are crowded and land is scarce.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 22, 2012
Ozawa, allies to vote against tax hike bill
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan said Thursday they have abandoned attempts to pass the tax hike bill Friday, but an internal rift looms as Ichiro Ozawa officially declared his intention to vote against the legislation.
JAPAN
Jun 21, 2012
Noda officially gives in on tax, welfare reform
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Democratic Party of Japan executives officially endorsed changes to the government's social security and tax reform bills Wednesday, while signalling the Diet session will be extended, possibly to early September.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 26, 2012
Desperate Kurd plays final asylum card
The 42-year-old Kurdish asylum seeker's wife and four children fled back to Turkey more than a year ago, terrified about the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, but he stayed on, in limbo, hoping beyond hope that he would be permitted to remain in Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 23, 2012
New JICA chief wants aid profile lift
If Japan wants to maintain its international influence, it should increase, not pare, official development assistance because South Korea, China and other countries are boosting economic aid to key developing states, the new Japan International Cooperation Agency chief says.
JAPAN / 40 YEARS AFTER REVERSION
May 18, 2012
Jurisdiction over remote Senkakus comes with hot-button dangers
Fourth in a series In January, Hitoshi Nakama, a member of the municipal assembly of Ishigaki, Okinawa, and three others landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 18, 2012
Owner OK with metro bid to buy disputed Senkaku Islands
Ever since Hiroyuki Kurihara and his family took title to the Senkaku Islands in the 1970s, they have firmly kept to the will of the previous owner: The islets are not to be sold to anyone but the Japanese government or a public organization.
Japan Times
JAPAN / 40 YEARS AFTER REVERSION
May 16, 2012
U.S. defense shift keeps Okinawa in strategic mix
The 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japan came with a price — the continued use by the United States of sprawling military bases and other facilities in the prefecture to protect Japan and maintain peace in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 13, 2012
Noda's vexing full plate: tax hike, Ozawa, Futenma, Senkakus
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda hopes to persuade Okinawans to accept the government's highly contentious plan to move the Futenma air base elsewhere in the prefecture once the burden of hosting U.S. forces there starts to ease.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 12, 2012
Diet finally starts deliberations on tax hike bill
The Diet kicked off deliberations Friday on the contentious bill to double the 5 percent consumption tax by 2015, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is urging the opposition camp to help ensure its passage by the end of the Diet session in June.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 4, 2012
Conservatives call for revising Constitution
The time has come for political parties to overcome their differences and join hands to revise the Constitution to suit the times, including by establishing of an "army" to protect Japan, its people and its territory, conservative lawmakers said Thursday.
JAPAN
May 3, 2012
Conservative group wages war on Article 9
The war-renouncing clause to the Constitution is a threat to national security that leaves Japan vulnerable to foreign invasion and cyber-attacks and should be revised as soon as possible, a conservative citizens' group said Wednesday.
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
May 1, 2012
Constitution again faces calls for revision to meet reality
Thursday marks the 65th year since the Constitution took effect in 1947.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 28, 2012
U.S., Japan tweak marine exit plan
Tokyo and Washington agreed Friday to move about 9,000 U.S. Marines out of Okinawa as part of the ongoing realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, leaving about 10,000 marines in the prefecture.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 27, 2012
Ozawa not guilty of fund conspiracy
Ichiro Ozawa, former president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, was acquitted Thursday of conspiring with former aides to make false financial reports in his political fund management body Rikuzankai in 2004 and 2005.

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