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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
Jun 19, 2023
Japan to roll out COVID-19 booster targeting XBB subvariant in the fall
A vaccine subcommittee under the health ministry is aiming to prepare for another spike in infections possibly arriving in the winter.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 16, 2023
COVID wave looms in Japan after case numbers nearly double in a month
The average number of patients at each reporting facility was 5.11, up from 4.55 in the previous week and from 2.63 between May 8 and May 14.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 13, 2023
Japan braces for a more intense typhoon season this year
According to Weathernews, around 29 typhoons are expected to develop this year, slightly more than the 30-year average of 25.1 formed per year.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 12, 2023
Culture at Johnny's to be scrutinized amid investigation into abuse claims
A team of experts hired by the talent agency have said they will “independently” and “exclusively” investigate claims of sexual assaults by late founder Johnny Kitagawa.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 8, 2023
PFAS in western Tokyoites’ blood more than double national average
One expert has said that higher-than-normal readings are likely attributable to past contamination of drinking water in the area.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 6, 2023
Deluge of the century: Researchers highlight rarity of deadly Japan rainfall
Many coastal areas of the Tokai region, including Toyohashi in Aichi and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka, experienced an amount of rain that falls once in 100 years or more.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 2, 2023
Heavy rain lashes Japan as tropical storm passes south of archipelago
The rain disrupted travel along the country"s busiest shinkansen line and prompted one city in Aichi Prefecture to issue a level 5 warning over imminent flooding.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 2, 2023
Japan’s fertility rate matches record low as it drops for seventh consecutive year
The total fertility rate was down to 1.26 from 1.30 the year before and on par with a record low marked in 2005.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 30, 2023
Swedish chemist assumes presidency of prestigious Okinawa science institute
She has said will work closely with other academic institutions, industry and local partners to nurture the next generation of global leaders in science and business.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 30, 2023
Japan aims to halve allergy-triggering cedar pollen in 30 years
The proposal comes as pollen allergies, which are mostly caused by cedar trees, have become a major social concern, affecting an estimated 40% of the population.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 29, 2023
Doctors in Japan turn to crowdfunding to continue stroke treatment trial
The trial for the drug to treat acute stroke sufferers has hit a snag due to surging import costs, with the price of a vial going from ¥300,000 to ¥1.6 million.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 28, 2023
Japan slowly wakes up to health risks of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’
Residents in western Tokyo have been testing themselves to measure their exposure, with results showing levels of the chemicals that could bring long-term health risks.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 25, 2023
Small measles outbreak in Japan raises alarm
The most recent infections appear to have happened to strangers riding the same shinkansen for less than three hours.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 19, 2023
Japan's new COVID cases see small rise in first count since downgrade
By prefecture, Okinawa saw the highest average of 6.07 new patients per clinic in the week through Sunday, followed by 4.9 in Ishikawa, 4.36 in Hokkaido and 4.3 in Niigata.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 19, 2023
Scientists urge G7 leaders to improve vaccine access in developing countries
Advocates used the summit to push back against the pharmaceutical industry’s pressure to strengthen intellectual property rights.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / FOCUS
May 18, 2023
Japan has a new vaccine research funding unit for future pandemics — is it up to the task?
The country lacked a sense of urgency to prepare for potential outbreaks — this lack of preparedness has had a lasting impact.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 12, 2023
IAEA says public trust key to projects using radioactive soil from Fukushima
A delegation toured the Nagadoro district in the village of Iitate, Fukushima, where a pilot project is ongoing to demonstrate the safety of soil covered by non-contaminated topsoil.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Explainer
May 9, 2023
Alert for 'long-period ground motion' issued for Ishikawa quake. But what is it?
The lesser known type of quake can cause violent shaking on the upper floors of tall buildings, as well as major structural damage.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 7, 2023
Japan steps into post-pandemic phase with scrapping of COVID measures
The move will have a far-reaching impact on the nation’s health care system and beyond, affecting everything from the cost of treatment to the reporting of COVID cases.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 27, 2023
Japan to drop COVID border measures from Saturday
All incoming passengers are currently required to present proof of at least three COVID-19 vaccinations or have tested negative for the virus before departure.

Longform

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