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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 Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 1, 2015
Refugee Film Festival comes as world's eyes are on crisis
Last month, a heartbreaking photograph of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi's dead body washing up on the shore of Turkey was published by media outlets worldwide. He had fled his home in war-torn Syria with his mother, brother and father. Only his father survived the journey.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 1, 2015
Former child soldier and refugee Ger Duany finds a future in Hollywood
Ger Duany was only 13 years old when he became a child soldier in his home country of what is now South Sudan. Spending his childhood living in constant fear of being killed, he did what he had to — he picked up a gun and shot back, the only way to survive in a war.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Sep 12, 2015
Isao Takahata's stark world of reality
Having survived a devastating U.S. air raid on his hometown in World War II, film director Isao Takahata has firsthand experience of the horrors of war. It's perhaps not surprising, therefore, that he staunchly opposes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to push controversial security bills through the Diet.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 31, 2015
New MSDF 'family cards' hint at expanded Japan military role abroad: journalist
The Defense Ministry is quietly but steadily preparing for what comes after the controversial security legislation is enacted ? including determining who is eligible to fight in a war, according to journalist Yu Terasawa.
Japan Times
CULTURE
Aug 29, 2015
Culture clash: Entertainers add weight to government protests
Judging from recent comments posted on Twitter and websites such as abe-no.net, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't appear to have endeared himself to a number of celebrities who hold plenty of sway over public opinion with regards to his moves to change the nation's Constitution.
Japan Times
CULTURE
Aug 29, 2015
Documentary captures anti-nuclear protest movement's evolution
In the summer of 2012, tens of thousands of people gathered around the prime minister's office with one message — no more nuclear power. People flooded the streets of Tokyo's Nagatacho district, chanting and holding up signs saying "No Nukes!" in the hope their voices could be heard.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History
Aug 22, 2015
Surviving the postwar Soviet detention camps
Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, marked the end of the most devastating global conflict in history.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jul 4, 2015
Female chefs give sushi a new lease on life
A chef dressed in white stands behind the immaculate counter of a sushi restaurant with a vast array of raw seafood spread out in front of her. It sounds like a typical scene you might find at any sushi restaurant in Japan ... except in this case the chef is female.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 27, 2015
Fertility experts divided over benefits of freezing eggs cryogenically
Public broadcaster NHK aired a current affairs program on fertility in 2012 that caused a stir nationwide. Titled "The Impact of Aging Eggs," the program warned viewers that women in their 30s and 40s were flirting with disappointment by delaying any attempt to conceive until they are older.
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 27, 2015
Cancer sufferer’s eggs frozen as ‘insurance’
Tomoko Morita had been married for three months when she found a lump the size of a marble in her breast. Just 31 years old at the time, she was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 20, 2015
The true cost of fertility treatment in Japan
An increasing number of couples nationwide are relying on fertility treatments to conceive without adequately understanding the financial, physical and emotional toll such therapy takes on participants.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
May 30, 2015
Life inside a juvenile correction center
Young offenders are encouraged to acknowledge the crimes they have committed before learning how to survive in the outside world after their release.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
May 23, 2015
Shifting the scales of juvenile justice
In light of 13-year-old Ryota Uemura's recent murder in Kawasaki, the country is once again split over whether or not to revise the law governing crimes committed by minors.
Japan Times
LIFE
Apr 18, 2015
State of the reunion: Evaluating the Hague pact's success
As most parents know, there is nothing quite so life changing as having children. Imagine the pain a parent feels, then, if their children are taken from them. Now imagine the shock a parent feels if the person who abducted their children was their own spouse, a trusted partner who fled the country and disappeared — never to be heard from again.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Apr 15, 2015
Girl's return to Sri Lanka is first in response to Hague Convention court order
The move represents the first time Japan has fulfilled a court order mandating the return of a child to their country of habitual residence under the convention.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Mar 24, 2015
Single mother with disability vying for seat in Tokyo's Kita Ward
The packed room quieted down as Rie Saito took the stage. Instead of picking up the microphone, however, she smiled and silently pointed to the big screen next to her. This was the beginning of her speech — at a political rally on March 15 — which she based around a Power Point presentation.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History
Mar 14, 2015
Cult attraction: Aum Shinrikyo's power of persuasion
Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Aum Shinrikyo's deadly sarin attack in Tokyo, we talk to three people with intimate knowledge of the cult in a bid to find out how it was able to exert so much influence over its followers.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 6, 2015
Man finds girl of his dreams in the mirror
Keisuke Jinushi was tired of seeing social-networking snapshots of his friends with their girlfriends, at weddings or with their newborn children. He was single and felt like time was slipping away for him while everyone else was happily moving on with life. He wanted what they had, and to flaunt it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, he decided to do something about it: He created an imaginary girlfriend.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Feb 21, 2015
Apologizing in Japan: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Dressed in a light-gray suit with her hair pulled back tightly into a bun, McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) Chief Executive Officer Sarah Casanova walked stiffly into a news conference on Feb. 5 and addressed a throng of reporters.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Feb 21, 2015
'You should never hide negative information': Edano
At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano was sitting in an Upper House committee along with then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Cabinet. Without warning, the room they had gathered in began to shake violently, and looks of concern intensified on lawmakers' faces. Edano immediately asked the chairman of the committee if he could be excused so he could return to the prime minister's office.

Longform

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