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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.
JAPAN
Mar 17, 2012
Noda issues debris-disposal plea
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda send out written requests to municipalities nationwide Friday to join in the disposal of the millions of tons of debris generated by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region.
JAPAN
Mar 16, 2012
Futenma move will stick to script: U.S. forces chief
Lt. Gen. Burton Field, commander of U.S. forces in Japan, said Thursday the plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko remains valid.
BUSINESS / Tech
Mar 15, 2012
Edano urges China to respect certified trademark rights
From the names of cities and prefectures to local brands around Japan, China has been steadily acquiring trademark rights.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 14, 2012
Morocco's El Otmani vows solar power tieup
Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad Dine El Otmani said he was not only filled with sadness and deep pain after meeting survivors of the March 11, 2011, disasters in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, last week, but was also moved by their courage to move forward and rebuild their devastated region.
JAPAN
Mar 12, 2012
Emperor, Noda attend Tokyo memorial service
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Emperor Akihito attended a national memorial service Sunday in Tokyo to mark the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, remembering the people who perished and consoling the survivors of Japan's worst calamity since World War II.
JAPAN
Mar 12, 2012
Prefectures to get debris disposal requests: Noda
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced Sunday that the government will officially ask prefectures to store and dispose of some of the 22 million tons of debris generated by the quake and tsunami last year.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 10, 2012
Three years in jail sought for Ozawa
Court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors demanded Friday that Ichiro Ozawa be sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly violating the Political Funds Control Law.
JAPAN
Mar 8, 2012
Lower House dissolution, snap poll baloney: Noda
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Wednesday rejected speculation that he intends to cave to the opposition camp and dissolve the Lower House for a snap poll, in exchange for its support in passing legislation to hike the sales tax.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 6, 2012
Photos of hope adorn prime minister's door
The heartbreaking images of hopelessness and despair from the devastation the megaquake and tsunami brought last March 11 remain fresh in the memory of not only Japan but the rest of the world.
JAPAN
Mar 6, 2012
Government to pay debris disposal costs
The environment minister said Monday that financial support will be given to any local government that accepts and disposes of debris from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures generated by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
JAPAN
Mar 2, 2012
Japan issues wary welcome, awaits concrete action, warns of loopholes
North Korea's surprise promise to freeze its nuclear arms program is a positive development, but there is no guarantee it will live up to its word and the hermit state should take concrete action before resuming the six-party talks, the government and Japanese experts said Thursday.
JAPAN
Mar 1, 2012
Keep females in Imperial clan: experts
Female members of the Imperial family must retain their status after marriage to maintain the Emperor system, experts told a government panel Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Feb 28, 2012
Immigration inmates live life of limbo, at officials' whim
Abubakar Awudu Suraj spent 20 months in an Immigration Bureau detention center before being manhandled onto a jetliner at Narita airport for deportation back to Ghana in March 2010.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 25, 2012
Noda keeps pressing DPJ on tax hike
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday he will keep pushing to hike the 5 percent consumption tax until all the naysayers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, including kingpin Ichiro Ozawa, are on the same page with him.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 18, 2012
Court nixes key depositions against Ozawa
The Tokyo District Court said Friday it will not admit as evidence key depositions of former aides of ex-Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa, who stands accused of violating the Political Funds Control Law, and slammed prosecutors' interrogations as "illegal."
JAPAN
Feb 16, 2012
Nuclear safety boss faults agency, utilities
Nuclear Safety Commission chief Haruki Madarame apologized Wednesday for mistakes and safety shortcomings that surfaced during the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and blamed them on bureaucrats and utilities that failed to heed calls for better disaster preparedness.
JAPAN
Feb 11, 2012
11 months on, Reconstruction Agency makes official debut
The Reconstruction Agency finally made its official debut Friday, 11 months since the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake, and its mission is to speed up the process of rebuilding the Tohoku region.
JAPAN
Feb 10, 2012
Embassy in Damascus may have staff vacated
The government may scale down the size of its diplomatic mission in Syria amid increasing violence between President Bashar Assad's regime and rebel groups, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Thursday.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Feb 10, 2012
Despite new plan, Okinawans fear Futenma will remain in Ginowan
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JAPAN
Feb 4, 2012
Manabe denies he intended to sway voters
The Defense Ministry's Okinawa bureau chief strongly denied Friday trying to sway the way ministry officials and their relatives may vote in Ginowan's mayoral election or encouraging them to support a specific candidate, but admitted his actions could be construed as unlawful.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan