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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
Dec 20, 2012
Still smarting, DPJ struggles to regroup
The chaotic aftermath of its crushing defeat in the Lower House election continued Wednesday to affect the Democratic Party of Japan as it was suddenly forced to change its plans and postpone a presidential election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 19, 2012
Postelection Cabinet holds 'wake'
Through rain or shine or even after Sunday's humiliating drubbing, the government must go on, so Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ministers Tuesday morning held their first Cabinet meeting since the election, a gloomy gathering participants likened to a wake.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 18, 2012
Nothing left for the election-gutted DPJ to do but rebuild
The drubbing taken by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan on Sunday left it with just 57 seats and one option: to rebuild.
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 17, 2012
Architects of DPJ effort accept blame for loss
The air was filled with doom at the Democratic Party of Japan's campaign center Sunday evening as the ruling party came to grips with its sobering defeat in the Lower House election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 13, 2012
Defiant North Korea launches rocket
Despite earlier reported technological problems and severe winter weather, North Korea successfully launched a long-range rocket Wednesday over the Pacific, the second stage of which fell 300 km east of the Philippines.
JAPAN
Dec 11, 2012
N. Korea extends launch window
While Japan remained on high alert Monday for North Korea's "satellite launch," Pyongyang extended the launch window by a week to Dec. 29 because of a "technical deficiency," the Korean Central News Agency said.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 11, 2012
'Changed' Abe makes case for fresh chance
In an article published Monday in the monthly Bungei Shunju magazine, Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe apologized for abandoning the prime ministership a year into his term in 2007 but insisted he is a changed man and deserving of another chance.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 7, 2012
Many voices but no clear messages
With so many parties — and their seemingly mix-and-match policy positions — vying in the Dec. 16 Lower House election, voters are facing a difficult choice. Even so, all the sudden mergers and policy rejiggering suggest the new parties would be no better than their predecessors at breaking the tradition of broken promises in politics.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Dec 5, 2012
Poll set to yield just a reign of chaos?
STAFF
Japan Times
JAPAN / POSITIONING FOR THE POLL
Dec 4, 2012
Double-candidate Noda to fight till end
All media polls suggest the ruling Democratic Party of Japan will be crushed in the Lower House election Dec. 16 and that the Liberal Democratic Party will return to power for the first time in three years.
Japan Times
JAPAN / POSITIONING FOR THE POLL
Dec 4, 2012
Kada's party backs Hague treaty, monthly child support
Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada wants the nation to provide better child-rearing support, become a society that allows participation by everyone, and join the Hague Convention against abductions by estranged parents.
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 3, 2012
Nippon Mirai pledges 2022 atomic phaseout, tax freeze
Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada on Sunday unveiled her new party's hastily compiled policy platform for the Dec. 16 general election, calling for the elimination of nuclear power by 2022 and freezing the government's plan to raise the sales tax.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Dec 1, 2012
DPJ's promise to change the system failed
The Democratic Party of Japan rode to power in 2009 and ended decades of Liberal Democratic Party rule by promising to turn politicians into the true decision-makers and end the practice of bureaucrats calling the shots on behalf of ministries instead of the people.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Nov 30, 2012
New Komeito not necessarily on same policy page as old, hawkish ally LDP
Revising the war-renouncing Constitution is not an urgent matter and neither the majority of the public nor the international community is supporting Japan's recent rightward tilt led by the Liberal Democratic Party, said Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of LDP ally New Komeito.
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Nov 28, 2012
DPJ platform: TPP, end of reactors
The Democratic Party of Japan unveiled on Tuesday its policy platform for the Dec. 16 Lower House election, vowing to end use of nuclear power by the 2030s and promote participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade accord.
Japan Times
JAPAN / ELECTION 2012
Nov 22, 2012
Hatoyama won't seek re-election
Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama officially announced Wednesday he will not run in the Dec. 16 Lower House election and instead will retire from politics.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 21, 2012
DPJ will only back candidates who endorse policies: Azumi
Without exception, the Democratic Party of Japan will only back candidates that support the party's policies — including the consumption tax hike — in the Dec. 16 Lower House general election, DPJ Deputy Secretary General Jun Azumi said Tuesday.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Nov 17, 2012
LDP-DPJ grudge match may see unity after poll
Friday's dissolution of the Lower House sets the stage for a no-holds-barred grudge match between the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party, while emerging "third-force" political groups are seen struggling to raise public awareness enough to change the current two-party system.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 13, 2012
Ozawa acquittal is upheld in appeal
Former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa did not conspire with former aides to falsify financial statements in his political funding management body Rikuzankai in 2004 and 2005, the Tokyo High Court ruled Monday, upholding his not-guilty verdict.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 10, 2012
Once bond bill clears, poll may soon follow
With passage of the bond-issuance bill coming into sight, speculation was spreading Friday that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may dissolve the Lower House for an election before year's end.

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