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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
Nov 16, 2006
Ruling coalition education bill nears passage
is my Cabinet's priority," Abe told reporters Wednesday evening after the committee vote. Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the DPJ, the largest opposition party, slammed the vote, which went ahead despite the opposition boycott.
JAPAN
Nov 10, 2006
Aso should be axed for nuke comments: opposition
The Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party of Japan and the People's New Party sent a letter to the prime minister Thursday demanding that Foreign Minister Taro Aso be dismissed for saying Japan must debate whether to go nuclear.
JAPAN
Nov 9, 2006
Abe says no to nukes but allows discussion
Japan has no intention of going nuclear but there is still room for debate on the issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday as he defended key Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who have been criticized for comments suggesting that the matter needs to be discussed.
JAPAN
Nov 3, 2006
Plan OK'd to help students graduate
will say it is (unfair) to the 90 percent who completed the (required amount of) classes," Ibuki told reporters. "But if we are too strict, (they will say) it is cruel." The ministry plan specifies that "the students are victims and utmost efforts must be made so there is no unfairness between students...
JAPAN
Nov 3, 2006
Talk of going nuclear irks opposition
Four opposition parties leveled a joint protest Thursday at key Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who have repeatedly argued that Japan needs debate whether to develop nuclear arms in response to North Korea's atomic test.
JAPAN
Nov 2, 2006
Japan stands firm with sanctions on North Korea
Japan will continue the economic sanctions it leveled against North Korea despite Pyongyang's apparent about-face on returning to the multilateral talks to end its nuclear threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference Wednesday.
JAPAN
Sep 30, 2006
Abe looks to compel schools to push 'patriotism'
As the extraordinary Diet session began Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid out his legislative agenda and left political observers speculating over the government's apparent tilt to the right and its push for "patriotism."
JAPAN
Sep 30, 2006
Give Yasukuni a miss: New Komeito
must step on the accelerator for structural reforms . . . but when the LDP goes too far, we need to (say) wait a minute" and hit the brakes, he said. Although Abe has not clearly stated if he will visit the shrine again, he did go to in April while serving as chief Cabinet secretary, a trip that was...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 27, 2006
Abe made prime minister
Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named his Cabinet on Tuesday, giving most of the posts to his close aides and the people who actively supported him during the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 26, 2006
Abe may be Ozawa's target of opportunity
The battle is officially on -- Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe vs. Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa.
JAPAN
Sep 26, 2006
Ozawa retains DPJ helm, is hospitalized
and Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama during a party convention Monday in Tokyo. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO
JAPAN
Sep 21, 2006
LDP election broke with norm
to a certain degree," he said. "Without Koizumi's guidance, Abe would never have become party president." Abe won 464 votes, or 66 percent of the total, although he had reportedly been shooting for more than 70 percent. Aso came in second with 136 and Tanigaki got 102.
Japan Times
JAPAN / LASTING IMPACT
Sep 18, 2006
Aum's crimes marked start of growing public safety fear
Last in a series
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 14, 2006
Ozawa rallies DPJ with calls for change
The leader of a nation must have ambition above all else, and if he doesn't have it he should quit immediately, said Ichiro Ozawa, who started his new term as president of the Democratic Party of Japan on Tuesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 13, 2006
Ozawa remains DPJ leader
Ichiro Ozawa was in effect named Tuesday to a second term as the Democratic Party of Japan president after no other candidates came forward to challenge him for the post.
JAPAN
Sep 12, 2006
Ozawa seeks re-election as DPJ chief
Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa announced Monday he will run for re-election as the party's president.
JAPAN
Sep 10, 2006
LDP candidates launch race for presidency in Akihabara
, Sadakazu Tanigaki (center) and Shinzo Abe -- raise their joined hands Saturday after stumping in Tokyo's Akihabara district. KYODO PHOTO
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 9, 2006
Issues no factor in LDP election
The Liberal Democratic Party presidential election officially kicked off Friday with three candidates vying for the job, but it doesn't look like party members are going to vote according to their platforms.
JAPAN
Sep 9, 2006
Abe, Aso, Tanigaki file for LDP election
to build Japan into a country which (we) can be proud of. The president of the LDP is chosen by a vote among LDP members -- LDP Diet lawmakers and more than 1 million party members who have a paid party membership for two consecutive years.
JAPAN
Sep 7, 2006
Politicians happy to put off royal debate
a stable Imperial succession is an issue of extremely grave importance," he said. Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, said it is now a time for celebration, not debate.

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