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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
Sep 15, 2011
DPJ's tightened grip on information raises eyebrows
Following a recent verbal misstep that led to the resignation of industry minister Yoshio Hachiro, the Democratic Party of Japan and the government have begun tightening their grip on information disclosure.
JAPAN
Sep 15, 2011
LDP slams Noda over ministers' miscues
Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers grilled Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in the Diet on Wednesday over recent verbal gaffes by his Cabinet ministers as well as his party's flip-flops on various key policies, and urged him to dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 14, 2011
Noda to face grilling about appointments
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to face conflict in the Diet session that kicked off Tuesday as opposition parties prepared to grill him over his Cabinet appointments, most notably about short-term trade minister Yoshio Hachiro, who stepped down after making jokes about the Fukushima nuclear...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 13, 2011
Noda taps Edano for trade minister
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday appointed former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano to replace trade minister Yoshio Hachiro, who stepped down after only eight days in the post over his controversial remarks on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Japan Times
JAPAN / CABINET INTERVIEW
Sep 10, 2011
Fujimura eyes review of national strategy
New Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Friday the government is planning to set up a panel to discuss a comprehensive national strategy, including the controversial right of collective self-defense and the ban on arms exports.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 6, 2011
Law flawed but Noda should return donations: Fujimura
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Monday that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda should return any political contributions confirmed to have come from foreigners, who are barred by law from giving donations.
JAPAN
Sep 3, 2011
Yasukuni stance takes practical shift
In a major U-turn, new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday that neither he nor any of his Cabinet ministers will make official visits to controversial Yasukuni Shrine, reversing his previous position that visits by national leaders should be not be considered problematic.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Sep 3, 2011
Lineup competent but lacking buzz
The new ministers hand-picked Friday by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda lack the star power or celebrity status needed to reverse the Democratic Party of Japan's dwindling popularity.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 2, 2011
Noda taps Fujimura to be right-hand man
Newly appointed executives of the Democratic Party of Japan promised the leading opposition parties Thursday that they will uphold agreements to give up or scale back some of the key pledges the DPJ made before taking power, including the monthly child allowances.
JAPAN
Sep 1, 2011
Noda's key first task: filling Edano's shoes
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JAPAN
Aug 31, 2011
Noda takes over, starts key selections
Yoshihiko Noda became the nation's 62nd prime minister Tuesday, tasked with leading the recovery from the March disaster.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Aug 30, 2011
Tax advocate must seek unity, opposition support
Newly elected Democratic Party of Japan President Yoshihiko Noda has to hit the ground running and quickly address such daunting issues as unifying his party's warring factions and winning the opposition's cooperation in rebuilding the devastated northeast.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 28, 2011
Five face off over policies ahead of poll
Campaigning for the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election officially kicked off Saturday, with five candidates vying to succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 27, 2011
Kan bows out, says he did best he could
Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially announced Friday he will resign after 15 turbulent months in office during which the nation experienced its greatest postwar disaster and one of the world's worst nuclear crises.
JAPAN
Aug 23, 2011
All eyes on potential Maehara election bid
With the Democratic Party of Japan's presidential election set to pick Prime Minister Naoto Kan's successor possibly in a week, a key focus has been whether former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara will throw his hat into the ring.
JAPAN
Aug 21, 2011
Pentagon denies burying Agent Orange in Okinawa
The Pentagon has once again denied allegations that the U.S. military buried the highly toxic defoliant Agent Orange in Okinawa, the Foreign Ministry said.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 20, 2011
Candidate Kaieda eases on Ozawa
Trade minister Banri Kaieda expressed his intention Friday to run for the Democratic Party of Japan presidency and succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and hinted he may lift the suspension on former party leader Ichiro Ozawa, who will soon go on trial.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 20, 2011
Amnesty chief targets death penalty
There is a wide gap between Japan and much of the rest of the world when it comes to human rights issues, and nongovernmental organizations need to play a role in changing people's awareness, especially on the death penalty, said Hideki Wakabayashi, the newly appointed executive director of Amnesty International...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 19, 2011
Women's soccer team gets People's Honor Award
The national women's soccer team received the People's Honor Award Thursday in recognition of their victory at the Women's World Cup in July in Germany.
JAPAN
Aug 13, 2011
Nagata-cho abuzz as Kan exit nears
After months of mounting calls to step down from the opposition camp and even some fellow members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, it looks like Prime Minister Naoto Kan is finally ready to bow out.

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