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 Tomoko Otake

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Tomoko Otake
Tomoko Otake is a senior writer with a strong interest in health, medical and social issues. A native of Nara Prefecture, she obtained an M.A. in journalism from The University of Montana.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 22, 2022
As COVID wave grows, Japan beefs up response but won't limit business activities
With the seventh wave reaching unprecedented heights, the government is ramping up the number of hospital beds available and expanding the scope of those eligible for fourth vaccine shots.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jul 20, 2022
Health ministry panel delays decision on emergency approval for Shionogi’s COVID pill
The delay is a blow to one of Japan's largest drugmakers and also raises questions about the process for drugs to gain fast-track approvals in times of emergency.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Jul 17, 2022
Ocean acidification threatens some of Japan’s favorite seafood
The process driven by climate change poses a threat to the future of the fishery and aquaculture industries, researchers say.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 13, 2022
Japan lawyers push back against Unification Church's donation claims
The spotlight has fallen on donations to the church following claims by suspect in the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jul 11, 2022
Unification Church says Abe shooting suspect’s mother is follower
The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, reportedly harbored a grudge against Abe over what he believed were the former prime minister's ties to the group.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Jul 11, 2022
Women win record 35 of 125 seats in Japan's Upper House election
A record high 181 women ran in the Upper House poll, where half of the chamber's seats were up for grabs.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 8, 2022
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assassinated
A suspect was arrested after Abe, one of the most consequential leaders in Japan's postwar history, was shot while campaigning in the city of Nara on Friday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 8, 2022
Former PM Shinzo Abe in 'serious condition' after being shot in Nara
The former prime minister was attacked while giving a campaign speech ahead of Sunday's Upper House election.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 7, 2022
New surge in COVID-19 cases across Japan prompts alarm
The spike in cases comes at a time when people are planning summer holidays and large, in-person events have begun to return.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Jul 6, 2022
Harassment of female candidates a growing issue in Japanese politics
Despite moves to draw more women to public office, Japan remains far behind other developed countries, in part due to abuse on the campaign trail.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jul 5, 2022
Japanese research project aims to create Earth-like artificial gravity
The study by Kyoto University and construction firm Kajima hopes to bring ideas out of sci-fi and into reality by enabling humans to live outside of Earth.
Japan Times
JAPAN / New Normal 2.0
Jun 24, 2022
Japan begins return to business-as-usual at big events — but slowly
Recent trials of allowing cheering at soccer games are indicative of the approach toward large events in the coming months: a slow, highly cautious return to some aspects of normalcy.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 24, 2022
Experts warn of 'twindemic' after early flu outbreak at Tokyo school
The prospect of a mixture of influenza and COVID-19 infections was raised after third grade classes were canceled at a school in Tachikawa due to unusually early instances of flu.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 23, 2022
Japanese panel postpones verdict on Shionogi’s COVID pill until July
The panel “could not reach a conclusion,” as its members were divided over several points including the efficacy of the drug, according to a health ministry official.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 22, 2022
Will a ¥10 trillion fund be the savior of Japan’s universities?
Experts say that without major reform of Japan's deeply ingrained academic culture, it will be hard to improve the quality of the nation's research — no matter how much money is spent.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 21, 2022
As Japan's verdict on Shionogi's COVID pill nears, questions persist over efficacy
There have been calls for Japan to acquire more weapons against COVID-19, especially domestically produced ones, but medical experts are unsure of the drug's merits.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 10, 2022
Experts call for caution as more people enter Japan without COVID screening at airports
As more people are expected to enter the country under relaxed border rules, experts are urging caution in case a highly pathogenic variant is detected abroad.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 9, 2022
COVID booster effective in preventing infection for 70% of population, Japan study says
Their findings came as U.S. biotech giant Moderna announced a new vaccine under development that targets the omicron variant.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 3, 2022
Long COVID takes toll as Japan patients seek answers
There are still a lot of unknowns about long COVID, including what exactly causes it and how best to treat it. But the scale of the problem alone is alarming.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 3, 2022
Skin rash more common in women after Moderna shot, Japan study finds
Swelling, pain and/or itchiness of the arm that received the vaccine was also more common among people in their 30s through 60s.

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan