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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 Times
JAPAN
Dec 29, 2011
Few options for left-behind parents even if Hague OK'd
In July 2003, Paul Toland arrived to an empty home at the U.S. Navy's family housing facility in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. Gone were his Japanese wife and baby daughter. What was left was a note: "Contact my lawyers."
Japan Times
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Dec 28, 2011
Futenma plan once again thorn in side of DPJ
The submission of the environmental assessment on Henoko in Okinawa sparked polarized reactions from the governments in Tokyo and Washington and the people of Okinawa, underscoring the gap in awareness over the contentious relocation of the Futenma air base.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Dec 27, 2011
Many angles to acquiring Japanese citizenship
Nationality has long been a controversial issue in Japan. For most, it is something they are born with; for others, it is something they had to fight for. For some, nationality may be a source of pride, while for others, it may be the cause of discrimination.
JAPAN
Dec 20, 2011
'Prepare for the unexpected': Noda
Immediately after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was announced, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday told his administration to "take all possible measures to prepare for the unexpected."
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 7, 2011
Bribed lawmaker Muneo Suzuki out on parole
Muneo Suzuki was paroled Tuesday after spending a year in prison for accepting ¥11 million in bribes and committing other offenses while serving as a Diet member.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 3, 2011
Lower House committee approves nuke export deals with four nations
While the battle goes on to bring the Fukushima No. 1 plant under control, the government moved a step closer Friday to resuming exports of Japan's nuclear technology as a Lower House committee approved ratification of accords with four countries.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 2, 2011
Noda apologizes for axed official's Okinawa gaffe
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda apologized in front of the media Thursday over an "extremely inappropriate" remark a Defense Ministry official made in relation to the Futenma base relocation in Okinawa.
JAPAN
Nov 26, 2011
Watanabe instrumental in forging cozy political-news media relationship
Tsuneo Watanabe, chairman and chief editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun who doubles as chairman of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, is one of the most influential figures in Japan as he reigns not only over the nation's biggest media empire but also acts as a political fixer.
JAPAN
Nov 26, 2011
Fujimura says 'stable' system of Imperial succession needed
A way has to be found to secure a "stable" accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Friday, expressing concern over the small number of successors to the crown.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 11, 2011
Risk-averse Noda shuns hallway interviews
Words are often the strongest weapon in a politician's armory, but the slightest slip of the tongue can turn into a huge liability, as evidenced by the number of occasions prime ministers and Cabinet members have been caught out in the last six years.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 11, 2011
Noda postpones decision on TPP
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday postponed his widely expected announcement that Japan will join the U.S. and other countries in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying he wanted to sleep on the issue for a day before making his final decision.
JAPAN
Nov 10, 2011
TPP debate at Diet, DPJ crunchtime
Heated debate raged late Wednesday as the Democratic Party of Japan discussed whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord talks, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda trying to hammer out a decision before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit this weekend.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 9, 2011
Meeting with Dalai Lama cools warming ties with China
A recent meeting between the Dalai Lama and Japanese lawmakers — including senior government officials — threatened Tuesday to stymie improving relations with China.
JAPAN
Nov 5, 2011
Noda will call snap poll if Diet OKs sales tax hike
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Thursday in France that he is willing to dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election provided the Diet first approves a bill to raise the consumption tax.
JAPAN
Nov 3, 2011
More lawmakers hit by cyber-attacks
Several House of Councilors members have received emails carrying Trojan horse programs designed to breach the security of computer systems, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tsuyoshi Saito said Wednesday, revealing the cyber-attacks.
JAPAN
Nov 2, 2011
GSDF dispatch to South Sudan gets go-ahead
The government announced Tuesday that several hundred Ground Self-Defense Force engineers will be dispatched to South Sudan as part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Nov 1, 2011
Matchmakers in wings as singles rise
How can you meet the spouse of your dreams? To find that special someone to spend the rest of your life with, to have children and grow old together? Who can fit the bill?
BUSINESS
Oct 12, 2011
Noda puts TPP back on radar
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet attempted Tuesday to speed up discussions on whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks, hoping to have a decision by early next month at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Hawaii.
JAPAN
Sep 22, 2011
Noda eyes spring reactor restarts to avoid power shortfall
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said he intends to reactivate some of the country's idled nuclear reactors as early as next spring, in a bid to avert a massive power shortage that could deal a potentially fatal blow to the economy.
JAPAN
Sep 16, 2011
Noda accepts blame for Hachiro
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday acknowledged his responsibility for appointing Yoshio Hachiro, who stepped down within days of becoming trade minister to atone for a verbal gaffe, and vowed to strive to regain public trust.

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