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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
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Feb 22, 2013
Suicide prompts wife to sue Tepco
The last words that a Fukushima dairy farmer said to his wife in the Philippines over the phone on the morning of June 10, 2011, was to make sure that she and their children ate well, stayed healthy and didn't return to Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Feb 21, 2013
Three murderers sent to the gallows
Three death-row inmates are hanged, in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, the first executions carried out under the new Liberal Democratic Party-led government.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 21, 2013
Pro-Pyongyang schools barred from tuition waiver
Pro-Pyongyang high schools are banned from the government's tuition-waiver program, almost three years after every student in Japan was declared eligible to receive the financial aid.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 8, 2013
Wiped out city waits for Tokyo to wake up
It has been almost two years since much of Tohoku's coastline was wiped out by tsunami on March 11. Gone are many of the destroyed buildings and vehicles that served as reminders of the horror and tragedy caused by the monster earthquake in the Pacific.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 29, 2013
12-year term urged in Somalis' piracy trial
Prosecutors on Monday demanded 12-year prison terms for two Somalis being tried on charges of boarding and attempting to hijack a Bahama-registered oil tanker operated by a Japanese company in the Indian Ocean in 2011.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 25, 2013
Naming slain captives raises privacy issues
The victims' right to privacy was pitted against the public's right to know as the media pressed for the names of the Algerian hostage crisis victims to be disclosed while the government and JGC Corp. remained tight-lipped, but Tokyo finally caved Friday, revealing the identities of the firm's 10 slain employees.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 25, 2013
Solar lanterns brighten future for Afghans
Where would we be without light when night falls? It is hard to imagine all of the constraints during the long hours of darkness before the sun rises again — no work, no study and no recreation.
JAPAN
Jan 19, 2013
Agura Bokujo victims may sue Kaieda
Investors who were fleeced when the Agura Bokujo cattle farm business went under are threatening to sue Democratic Party of Japan President Banri Kaieda for damages over articles and books he wrote 20 years ago recommending investment in the ranch, according to their lawyers.
Japan Times
JAPAN / CABINET INTERVIEW
Jan 19, 2013
Hague treaty not priority, past bill needs study: Tanigaki
Although the Liberal Democratic Party-led government is moving toward signing the Hague Convention on cross-border parental child abductions, the issue may not be a priority in the next ordinary Diet session, Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 16, 2013
Somali pair admit trying to hijack ship
In the first case prosecuted under Japan's 2009 antipiracy law, two Somali men pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tokyo District Court to charges of boarding and attempting to hijack a Bahamas-registered tanker operated by a Japanese shipping company.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 12, 2013
Abe gives out info on his terms, via Facebook page
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has learned his lesson: Instead of giving short daily media interviews, he has launched a new Facebook page to provide information to the public on his terms while conveniently avoiding the kind of verbal missteps that plagued his recent predecessors — including himself, during his 2006-2007 leadership stint.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 10, 2013
Seoul may have female leader but Tokyo's is long way off: poll
South Korea recently elected its first female president, but it looks like it will still take some time before Japan follows suit and appoints a woman as prime minister, at least according to a recent survey by Tohoku University.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 4, 2013
Child custody injustices hard to fix
On May 6, 2010, Yasuyuki Watanabe, an internal affairs ministry bureaucrat, came home to find his wife and 2-year old daughter gone, along with their clothes.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 1, 2013
Retired Hatoyama still on Futenma quest
Yukio Hatoyama dashed the hopes of the people of Okinawa when, as prime minister, he failed to deliver on his promise to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma out of the prefecture.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 30, 2012
Rightwing minister seeks to radically revamp education system
Conservative education minister Hakubun Shimomura said he wants to fundamentally change Japan's postwar school system to teach children about the nation's historical traditions and culture.
JAPAN
Dec 29, 2012
Abe this time around to skip daily interviews in order to keep gaffes at bay
Apparently older and wiser after his first term in office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not hold daily press interviews any more to avoid the verbal slips that plagued his hapless predecessors.
JAPAN
Dec 28, 2012
Abe Cabinet signals big changes ahead
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet got down to work Thursday dismantling various policies of the previous administration, including the zero-nuclear target, and musing on a review of the 1993 Kono Statement, an apology for the coercion of women into sexual slavery during the war.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 27, 2012
DPJ test ends as Noda's team quietly bows out
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet resigned en masse Wednesday morning, quietly closing the door on the Democratic Party of Japan's first attempt to lead the nation and making way for the old Liberal Democratic Party's return to power.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 26, 2012
Kaieda takes DPJ helm; Ozawa overture hinted
The Democratic Party of Japan picked former trade minister Banri Kaieda as its new president Tuesday, a sign that the party may seek to join hands with Ichiro Ozawa, a former DPJ leader who left the party earlier this year, for the upcoming Upper House election.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Dec 25, 2012
LDP returns with all its old baggage
They're baaaack. After warming the opposition bench for more than three years, the Liberal Democratic Party has returned to power, hungrier and more eager than ever to rule.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on