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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.
For Tomoko Otake's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Aug 30, 2017
Once skeptical Japan embraces telemedicine as regulatory hurdles fall
For working people with health issues, visiting a clinic has long meant taking hours off work on a weekday and spending more time in the waiting room than talking with a doctor.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Aug 16, 2017
Japanese researchers tap AI to parse regional dialects, work toward early dementia diagnosis
People in Aomori Prefecture, especially in the western Tsugaru area, are known for their strong dialect, often leading outsiders to joke about needing a translator.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Aug 11, 2017
Chimpanzees trained to master rock, paper, scissors by Kyoto University researchers
Chimpanzees can learn the rules of the rock, paper, scissors game through training, matching the intellectual ability of children 4 years old or older, researchers at Kyoto University have found.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jul 27, 2017
Ministry probe shows two-thirds of inspected firms violated labor laws in 2016
Two-thirds of companies inspected by the labor ministry in fiscal 2016 for suspected labor violations were found to have broken the law either by forcing employees to work illegal overtime or by failing to carry out measures to ensure their health, the ministry announced Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jul 26, 2017
Thanks to 'rejuvenation,' definition of elderly should go up 10 years, Japanese researchers say
In January, when researchers specializing in aging studies proposed that Japan redefine "elderly" as being aged 75 and older — instead of the current 65 — it raised more than a few eyebrows.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jul 19, 2017
Citizens group calls for review on use of restraints after New Zealand teacher’s death
A scholar and the family of a New Zealander who died after being tied to a hospital bed for 10 days forms a group that will push for a review of restraints at hospitals.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 18, 2017
Family blames prolonged use of restraints at Kanagawa hospital for English teacher's death
JET instructor died after being restrained on his hospital bed for 10 days, his family says, highlighting a widespread practice at nation's psychiatric hospitals
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jul 13, 2017
After rape allegation against TV journalist, Shiori hopes to shed light on victims' plight
Since she went public in late May with a rape accusation against a high-profile TV reporter, Shiori has been exposed to a storm of hurtful and derisive comments by anonymous internet users.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jul 13, 2017
Japan's expanded sex crime laws go into effect
Seen as a significant step forward, amendments to the sex crime laws take effect, but the nation still has a ways to go, experts say.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jul 12, 2017
Straw poll of American expats finds over half feel repeal of Obamacare would discourage them from returning to U.S.
The bill before the U.S. Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare," has American residents in Japan worried, with some saying the nullification would prevent them from returning home.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jun 28, 2017
Hokkaido cancer survivor's hand-sewn breast pads offer a softer path to recovery
Following her experience losing a breast to cancer and the need for a comfortable way to cover the area of her body, a Hokkaido seamstress developed a cotton breast pad that is now sold across the country.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jun 21, 2017
Japanese researchers collect first-person accounts of experiences with disease
When you have a health problem, there's a story that only you — not your doctor or family — can tell.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jun 14, 2017
Transplants using iPS cells put Riken specialist at forefront of regenerative medicine research
When she entered medicine in the mid-1980s, Masayo Takahashi chose ophthalmology as her specialty, she said, because she wanted to have a family and thought the discipline would spare her from sudden work calls in the middle of the night, helping her best balance work and life.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 12, 2017
Giant panda Shin Shin gives birth to cub — and hope — at Ueno Zoo
Ueno Zoo announced the birth of its first giant panda in five years on Monday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
Jun 7, 2017
Experts caution against idea that more is better in medical care
Since Japan established universal health coverage in 1961, it has ceaselessly worked to expand its health care services, in the belief that providing more extensive coverage for a wide variety of patient needs will contribute to the well-being of its citizens.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 5, 2017
Study abroad and travel agencies on edge in wake of London Bridge attack
Japanese travel agencies and study abroad companies report no casualties or cancellations related to the terrorism turmoil in London but say they are warily mulling their options.
JAPAN
May 31, 2017
Prime Minister Abe unveils government push to solve day care crunch
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Wednesday his government will create 220,000 new day care spots, bringing the number of children on the waiting list for nurseries to zero by 2020.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
May 31, 2017
Soccer star Honda's tweet on government suicide data draws criticism by some, praise by others
Soccer star Keisuke Honda has caused a stir on social media with an impassioned "motivational" tweet he posted in response to a news report about Tuesday's government white paper on suicide.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / A MATTER OF HEALTH
May 31, 2017
Japan violating anti-smoking treaty by bowing to tobacco industry, expert says
The government's move to ban smoking in indoor public places ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has hit a snag due to staunch resistance from lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party trumpeting smokers' rights and the need to protect the tobacco industry.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
May 30, 2017
Suicides down, but Japan still second highest among major industrialized nations, report says
The nation's suicide rate is the sixth highest in the world and the second worst among eight major industrialized countries, a government report released Tuesday said.

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