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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 9, 2012
Diet takes up bond bill as LDP caves in
After months of hardball between the ruling and opposition blocs, Diet deliberations on the crucial bond-issuance bill kicked off Thursday, paving the way for its passage.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 3, 2012
Abe, DPJ to discuss bond bill passage
After months of hardball with the ruling camp, Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe hinted he will cooperate with the Democratic Party of Japan in passing a critical bond-issuance bill.
JAPAN
Nov 1, 2012
Abe tries, fails to prod Noda on poll
Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe tried and failed once again Wednesday to corner Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into promising to dissolve the Lower House by the end of the year, continuing a seemingly endless power struggle that only lawmakers appear to be interested in.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Oct 30, 2012
Behind the no-nuclear option
The triple-meltdown crisis that began last year at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant jarred the public out of its complacent attitude toward nuclear power and every other assurance made by the government and Japan Inc.
JAPAN
Aug 30, 2012
Censure motion against Noda OK'd
With the Sept. 8 end of the current Diet session nearing, political players in Nagata-cho engaged in a heated tit-for-tat battle Wednesday as the opposition-controlled Upper House passed a censure motion against Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to try to push him into dissolving the Lower House.
Japan Times
JAPAN / EXPLAINER
Aug 28, 2012
Revival eludes nation's birthrate
It sounds like a broken record: Japan is beset by a low birthrate and an aging society.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 25, 2012
Seoul holding islets illegally, Noda charges
Japan escalated its verbal attacks on Seoul over the Takeshima territorial row Friday, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda calling South Korea's control of the islets "illegal" and the Lower House adopting a resolution denouncing its president, Lee Myung Bak, the first such Diet action over the islets...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 24, 2012
Brother keeps Sadako memory alive
Masahiro Sasaki was only 4 years old when the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its atomic bomb on Hiroshima, wiping out the central part of the city on that sunny Aug. 6, 1945, morning.
JAPAN
Aug 23, 2012
Noda unswayed by talks with rally leaders
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda should listen to the voices of the people and abolish all atomic reactors as soon as possible, organizers of the weekly antinuclear rallies told the nation's leader in a face-to-face meeting Wednesday.
JAPAN
Aug 21, 2012
China's gripe over tit-for-tat landing nixed
The government will not accept complaints lodged by China over the 10 Japanese nationalists who landed on the Senkaku Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Monday, while also trying to defuse bilateral strains by criticizing the unauthorized trip.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 18, 2012
Tokyo seeks ICJ ruling on Takeshima
Tokyo will go all out to persuade Seoul to take a sovereignty row to the International Court of Justice after South Korean President Lee Myung Bak's unprecedented visit to disputed islets in the Sea of Japan, government sources said Friday.
JAPAN / ANALYSIS
Aug 17, 2012
Tokyo, Beijing want tiff ended fast
Tokyo and Beijing are exchanging tough words over the arrest of 14 Hong Kong protesters and journalists who landed Wednesday on the disputed Senkaku Islands, repeating their harsh rhetoric over who owns the rocky outcroppings in the East China Sea.
JAPAN
Aug 16, 2012
Two Cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni
Marking the 67th anniversary of the end of World War II, two Cabinet ministers on Wednesday paid what they said was a private visit to war-related Yasukuni Shrine, the first by such high-ranking politicians since the Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 11, 2012
Moment of truth for kin of A-bomb decision
When the grandson of U.S. President Harry Truman, who ordered the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a descendent of the only serviceman to fly on both bombing runs came face to face with some of the survivors, it was a moment of truth.
JAPAN
Aug 10, 2012
Opposition vote to oust Noda fails
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Cabinet survived a no-confidence vote Thursday, bringing him one step closer to achieving his goal of doubling the consumption tax.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 9, 2012
Noda snubs LDP call to set dissolution date
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda managed Wednesday to avoid being slapped with a double-punch no confidence vote and censure motion by the Liberal Democratic Party by promising to call for a snap election "soon."
JAPAN
Aug 8, 2012
LDP pulls threat, will vote on bill for tax hike
In an apparent about-face Tuesday, the Liberal Democratic Party agreed to vote in favor of the contentious tax hike and social security legislation in the Upper House on Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 7, 2012
Noda forges on as temperatures rise
Tokyo is in the dead of summer and if anything, things are only getting hotter in the political hub of Nagata-cho.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 7, 2012
Hiroshima honors A-bomb dead; protesters chant
Inside Hiroshima's Peace Park, tens of thousands of survivors, relatives, government officials and diplomats observed the 67th anniversary Monday of the city's atomic bombing, while just outside others marked the occasion by loudly protesting the decision to reactivate two nuclear reactors.
JAPAN
Aug 7, 2012
Noda hints abolition a theoretical energy option
As nationwide outrage mounts over the decision to allow two nuclear reactor restarts in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Monday that he will look into the challenges Japan would face if it someday ends its reliance on atomic power.

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