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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
Mar 27, 2004
Tension mounts before MLB hits Tokyo Dome
It was business as usual Friday afternoon at Tokyo Dome -- high school boys checking out baseball memorabilia at a store, mother-toddler pairs munching away at a fast food joint near the stadium gates.
BUSINESS
Mar 27, 2004
Listed firms try to keep faith of investors by bearing gifts
The rationale is simple: If you want investors to hold on to your company's shares, send them gifts.
JAPAN
Mar 12, 2004
Chinese being frozen out of student visa process
Things are looking pretty grim for Chinese students who have their sights set on pursuing their Japanese language studies here.
JAPAN / TALKING SHOP
Mar 1, 2004
Top adman follows foreign peers' lead in speaking off the cuff
Take notes. Lots of them. Every night for years, Koichiro Naganuma, president of Asatsu-DK Inc., the nation's third-largest advertising agency, has written memos on newspaper articles. The nightly routine helps him a great deal -- especially when asked for comments by foreigners.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 17, 2004
New college dedicated to education on parenting
Need parenting tips? Go to college.
JAPAN / LABOR PAINS
Feb 13, 2004
Medical sector faces hard choice amid aging society
As Japan gropes for solutions to the imminent labor shortage amid the rapidly graying population, the failure of a private-sector project to import nurses is a bitter reminder of the hurdles involved in attracting and keeping foreign professionals here.
JAPAN
Feb 13, 2004
Open door sought for foreign caregivers
Should doctors, nurses and masseurs accredited by one country be allowed to practice in another after a bilateral free-trade agreement has been reached?
JAPAN
Feb 12, 2004
Visaless foreigners to be denied national health cover
After the Supreme Court ruled last month that it is illegal to bar visaless foreigners from the national health insurance scheme, the health ministry is mulling the creation of an ordinance to do just that.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 10, 2004
Russian chocolatier steeped in tradition
St. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and chocolate is occupying the thoughts of many people across the nation.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jan 22, 2004
Online matchmakers hand ailing truckers a lifeline
Yasunori Fujikura knows the nuts and bolts of the trucking business -- as well as the pain of being behind the wheel in these tough times.
BUSINESS
Jan 15, 2004
Koizumi defends reform efforts
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went on the defensive Wednesday, denying charges that his administration has been slow to bring about promised economic reforms.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jan 7, 2004
Workplace nurseries finding fledgling footing
Decor fit for a trendy beauty salon. A breathtaking view of autumn leaves in a sprawling city park.
BUSINESS
Dec 25, 2003
Relief eyed for small firms set to go bust
Help may be on the way at last for small business owners who fear being stripped to nothing if their firms go bust.
JAPAN
Dec 17, 2003
Kasyanov sees pipeline merits but remains noncommital
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov agreed Tuesday that a pipeline project linking East Siberia and Nakhodka, a port in Russia's Far East, would benefit both countries.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 13, 2003
Japan, ASEAN look to future
The summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations closed here Friday with leaders signing a "special relationship" declaration.
BUSINESS
Dec 13, 2003
Boards here in need of outsiders: U.S. headhunter
A leading U.S. executive search firm has found that Japan's corporate boards have a smaller number of external directors than any other nation.
JAPAN
Dec 12, 2003
Japan, ASEAN trio plan FTA talks but hurdles seen
Japan formally agreed Thursday to enter government-level negotiations on bilateral free-trade agreements with Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, raising its tally of ongoing FTA talks to five.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Nov 27, 2003
Japan making tariff list, checking it twice
Japan inched closer to a showdown with the U.S. over steel trade Wednesday, releasing a list of American goods it plans to raise tariffs on in retaliation for ongoing U.S. "safeguard" restrictions on steel imports.
BUSINESS
Nov 20, 2003
Race is on to get into world's most prestigious MBA programs
Some liken it to an event as pivotal as marriage. Others say it's a ticket to a super white-collar job, or even the ultimate test of one's being.
JAPAN / TALKING SHOP
Nov 17, 2003
For headhunter in middle, tactful persuasion is art of the deal
For headhunter Toshiaki Komatsu, the most electric moment in his work is when he negotiates a candidate's salary contract -- in English.

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