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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:
BUSINESS
Nov 15, 2003
Japanese company employees seek career upgrade after time overseas
Many employees at big Japanese corporations see their business environment change dramatically when they are transferred overseas.
BUSINESS
Nov 1, 2003
IRCJ to have another crack at Mitsui Mining
The Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan announced Friday it will bail out Mitsui Mining Co. after all, saying the firm's revised restructuring plan can work.
BUSINESS
Oct 25, 2003
Daiei decides against IRCJ rehab request
Struggling supermarket chain Daiei Inc. has decided against seeking the help of the state-backed Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan following a disagreement with IRCJ officials over the sale of its assets, it was learned Friday.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 21, 2003
Recruitment exec says change must be embraced
As Japan's economic slump lingers and its once near-universal lifetime employment system collapses, many of the nation's workers are sharing an increased sense of insecurity. But the top executive of a global recruitment consultancy tells them not to fear change.
JAPAN
Oct 17, 2003
Japan and Mexico fail to strike FTA deal
Japan and Mexico threw in the towel Thursday, failing to strike a bilateral free-trade agreement after a four-day marathon of ministerial-level talks.
JAPAN
Oct 16, 2003
Mexico's Fox arrives, but FTA in doubt
Mexican President Vicente Fox arrived Wednesday in Tokyo and immediately faced a tough decision: whether to accept a last-minute compromise on pork imports in stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement.
BUSINESS
Oct 15, 2003
Japan, Mexico work late into night on FTA
Japan and Mexico, racing against the clock ahead of President Vicente Fox's visit to Tokyo, extended talks late into the evening Tuesday to hammer out a free trade agreement.
BUSINESS
Oct 8, 2003
Japan hopes to find key to Mexico FTA behind locked doors
Japanese and Mexican negotiators will lock themselves away in a conference hall in Tokyo's Minato Ward beginning Wednesday in an attempt to hammer out a free-trade accord.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 27, 2003
Nakagawa's farm trade background brings mixed bag to METI portfolio
The appointment earlier this week of Shoichi Nakagawa as minister of economy, trade and industry is a mixed blessing for the nation's trade policy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 27, 2003
IRCJ takes salvage target list up to six
The Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan announced Friday that it will bail out Matsuya Denki Co., an Osaka home appliances retailer, and Meisei and Co., a chemical trading company also based in Osaka, under its corporate resuscitation scheme.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / CABINET INTERVIEW
Sep 26, 2003
IRCJ not only interested in 'small potatoes': Kaneko
New industrial revival minister Kazuyoshi Kaneko shrugged off accusations that the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan has a "small potatoes" approach to rescuing ailing firms.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 24, 2003
Shizuoka pulls out all the stops in bid to woo foreign investors
Shizuoka wants you badly -- if your company is considering building a base in the prefecture or doing business with any of the 100 or so local firms.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / INTERNATIONAL RATIONALE
Sep 9, 2003
Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Doraemon battle for global supremacy
A number of U.S. celebrities have been spotted toting Hello Kitty paraphernalia in the past year or so, leaving officials of Sanrio Co., the maker of the long-selling character, scratching their heads.
BUSINESS
Sep 2, 2003
IRCJ opts to bail out ailing Mitsui Mining
The Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan announced Monday that it has decided to bail out Mitsui Mining Co. under its resuscitation program.
BUSINESS
Aug 16, 2003
Farm policy may switch from defense to offense
Japan has long been on the defensive over agricultural trade as it sought to protect the nation's farmers, but it may soon go on the offensive.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 9, 2003
Debt-collectors push professionalism, not pain
Despite popular perceptions, profanities and threats are not screamed down the phone and the receiver doesn't end up getting slammed down.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 18, 2003
Town hopes wind bells ring in some new vitality
The tinkling of some 3,000 glass wind bells in a small mountain town in Aichi Prefecture is not just a sign of summer but a sound of hope for community revitalization.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jul 13, 2003
Second strings
Shin Yoshida leads a double life. And everyone, including his boss, his wife and three children, knows about it.
BUSINESS
Jun 27, 2003
Revival body chief claims applications are flooding in
More than 20 pairs of banks and borrower firms of varying sizes have applied for help from the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, IRCJ Chief Operating Officer Kazuhiko Toyama said Thursday.
BUSINESS
Jun 26, 2003
GET BROADBAND (but ignore fine print)
You may have already tuned out the incessant commercials by broadband Internet service providers on TV, in magazines and on the Net, but the Fair Trade Commission is tuning them in.

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores