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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 21, 2005
Stalker-killer's life term upheld
The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday upheld a life sentence for a man who stalked and played a part in the slaying of a 21-year-old woman who had broken off a relationship with his brother.
JAPAN
Dec 21, 2005
Suit over taxi smoke rejected
The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday rejected a 13.6 million yen lawsuit filed by taxi drivers and customers who accused the government of damaging their health by failing to curb passive smoking in cabs.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 20, 2005
Man denies confining, attacking four women
A 25-year-old man denied Monday on the first day of his Tokyo District Court trial that he confined and assaulted four women on various occasions over a year's period from December 2003.
JAPAN
Dec 10, 2005
High court reversal convicts peace activists of SDF trespass
, Sachimi Takada (center) and Toshiyuki Obora face reporters Friday in Tokyo after the high court ruled their antiwar-leaflet distribution constituted trespassing.
JAPAN
Dec 1, 2005
3.25 billion yen awarded in Yokota base noise suit
The Tokyo High Court ordered the government Wednesday to pay a record 3.25 billion yen in noise pollution damages to an estimated 6,000 residents living near the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.
Japan Times
Features / WEEK 3
Nov 20, 2005
Busted for drugs in the name of love
Tall, blond and blue-eyed, Alex was Prince Charming to Tomomi Arimura. In her eyes, he was perfect -- good-looking, attentive and gentlemanly. Through expensive and thoughtful gifts, affection and words of love, Alex completely stole her heart.
JAPAN
Nov 19, 2005
Ministry petitioned on fate of despairing asylum-seeker
A petition urging the Justice Ministry not to appeal a court ruling recognizing an Afghan asylum-seeker as a refugee was presented to the ministry Friday.
JAPAN
Nov 19, 2005
2,252 suits filed against usurious consumer lenders
are crying because they cannot pay the money," he said. "But I want people to know there are interest charges they don't need to pay, and there is a way to get that money back. . . . I hope these lawsuits will help (borrowers) rebuild their lives." Attorney Kenji Utsunomiya told the media the suits...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 18, 2005
'Loan shark king' faces payback
The Tokyo High Court on Thursday overruled a lower court ruling and ordered "loan shark king" Susumu Kajiyama to pay 5.1 billion yen in forfeiture in a case of laundering money amassed in a massive usury network, but reduced his prison sentence by six months to 6 1/2 years.
JAPAN
Nov 12, 2005
Afghan detainee qualifies for refugee status: court
The Tokyo District Court on Friday revoked a Justice Ministry decision to deny a well-known Afghan man refugee status.
JAPAN
Nov 10, 2005
Teen admits in court to slaying parents, arson
A 16-year old boy pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to murdering his parents and blowing up their apartment in June with an explosive device.
Japan Times
JAPAN / CABINET INTERVIEW
Nov 4, 2005
New justice minister still not sold on death penalty
In private life, new Justice Minister Seiken Sugiura is unequivocal in his condemnation of the death penalty: Under no circumstances should one person be allowed to kill another, he says.
JAPAN
Nov 2, 2005
Legal revision to speed hand of justice
Japan has long been notorious for extremely drawn out trials that seem to take forever to reach a verdict.
JAPAN
Oct 28, 2005
Briton has sentence for drug-smuggling reduced to 11 years
court," she said, adding that she was especially disappointed over how the judge ruled that a person qualified as a tour-guide interpreter was skilled enough to act as a courtroom interpreter. "This is a man's life," she said. "If that is the standard of an interpreter in a court today, I feel sorry...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 27, 2005
Refugees need more aid: UNHCR
Japan should not stop at being a financial donor to United Nations refugee assistance programs but also become a strategic partner in protecting the vulnerable group, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 26, 2005
Court splits on Hansen's compensation
Judges were split Tuesday on two lawsuits filed by former Hansen's disease patients from South Korea and Taiwan -- the South Korean patients were denied compensation while the Taiwanese were awarded it.
JAPAN
Oct 25, 2005
Interpretation mistakes marring justice in Japan's courts
In June 2003, British national Nicholas Baker was sentenced to a 14-year prison sentence for drug smuggling.
JAPAN
Oct 20, 2005
Takefuji suit only trying to shut up critics: court
The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that a lawsuit filed by Takefuji Corp. was aimed at suppressing freedom of expression and ordered the firm to pay 4.8 million yen in damages to a group of lawyers and a publisher.
JAPAN
Oct 1, 2005
Plaintiffs fume over Ishihara's French slur
A French teacher suing Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara over his disparaging remarks about the French language said in court Friday he would like the outspoken politician to explain why he believes French is an intellectually defective language.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 1, 2005
Execs avoid prison over Roppongi Hills fatality
The Tokyo District Court found three former company executives guilty Friday of professional negligence resulting in the death of a 6-year old boy who was crushed in an automatic door at the Roppongi Hills complex in March 2004.

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Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world