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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
Apr 26, 2023
Japanese startup fails in historic bid to put private lunar lander on moon
The firm, Ispace, is believed to have fallen short of making the world’s first private lunar landing after miscalculating the distance to the surface and running out of fuel.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 26, 2023
Foreign residents projected to make up 10% of Japan’s shrinking population in 2070
Japan’s population has been in decline since 2009, after peaking the year before at 128 million, and the downward trend is likely to continue.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Apr 20, 2023
Despite hurdles, more political candidates hit campaign trail with young children
Politics in Japan has long been considered the domain of those who are capable of committing to the duty 24/7, marginalizing the voices of families with young children.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 14, 2023
Japan adopts national strategy on nuclear fusion as competition intensifies
The strategy comes as the global race heats up to develop and commercialize fusion — considered the ultimate emission-free energy source.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 14, 2023
Kishida's verbal slip sees Japan target new hay fever countermeasures
Steps likely to be taken are the periodic thinning of cedar trees, the utilization of the trees as timber and replanting forests with trees that produce less pollen.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 10, 2023
Justice Ministry panel backs abolishing Japan's foreign trainee program
The panel said a new system should be established that recognizes the interns as workers helping Japan overcome its labor shortage.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 6, 2023
Excess deaths doubled in Japan in 2022 — COVID-19 may be to blame
Despite being less pathogenic than previous coronavirus variants, omicron hit Japan"s elderly population particularly hard last year.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 31, 2023
COVID measures will be up to Japan's businesses after downgrade
Requests for customers to sanitize their hands or have their temperatures taken are largely based on guidelines created by industries and will likely be less common after May 8.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 30, 2023
Japan’s COVID vaccine orders lacked solid estimate of demand, watchdog says
The health ministry failed to show enough grounds for its decision to procure a total of 882 million vaccine doses for the government-funded vaccination drive, the Board of Audit said.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 29, 2023
Mpox cases slowly creeping up in Japan even as spread slows abroad
As of Tuesday, Japan had reported 80 cases of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with the country seeing a gradual increase in new cases this year.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Explainer
Mar 19, 2023
Japan on high alert as avian flu rages across the country and heads north
Amid egg shortages and soaring prices, how worried should people be about the potential impacts of bird flu on human health?
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 17, 2023
Kishida aims for half of new fathers to take child care leave in 2025
The prime minister also said he will aim to raise the rate to 85% by fiscal 2030, adding that the bold goals are necessary to reverse the declining birthrate.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 14, 2023
Low alcohol tolerance increases chance of hard-to-cure stomach cancer in East Asians
A Japanese study has found that certain genomic abnormalities specifically related to alcohol consumption are linked to the onset of “diffuse-type” stomach cancer.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Explainer
Mar 13, 2023
Japan’s mask rules end — with some caveats
The government started leaving the decision on masking largely up to individuals Monday. But that doesn’t mean that everyone can throw out their face coverings in all situations.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 10, 2023
Twelve years after 3/11, dispute grows over Fukushima’s radioactive soil
The central government has pledged to — and is legally obliged to — move all of the soil out of Fukushima Prefecture by 2045.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 10, 2023
Government to scale back COVID support with disease downgrade on May 8
The move means much of the state subsidies for screening and treatments will be scaled back and free COVID testing and outpatient care will end.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 10, 2023
Japan reports first death directly linked to COVID-19 vaccine
The woman received a Pfizer shot targeting the omicron variant on Nov. 5 at a mass vaccination center.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 8, 2023
Health ministry panel proposes five basic habits for preventing COVID
The new approach comes as the government prepares to shift toward a post-pandemic normal through measures such as removing unified mask guidance.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Mar 8, 2023
Would gender quotas for lawmakers work in Japan?
Experts both at home and abroad say quotas are the fastest way to achieve gender equality in politics, but there are many factors at play, both legally and culturally.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 1, 2023
Early detection of postpartum depression? Japanese researchers may have found a way.
Currently, there are no available tests that aid with the prediction of postpartum depression.

Longform

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