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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.
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.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 28, 2023
Japan health ministry panel endorses nasal flu vaccine for children
Based on the results of a clinical trial involving children in Japan, the panel agreed that FluMist Quadrivalent is safe and effective in preventing the flu.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 22, 2023
Shionogi says its drug Xocova may reduce risks of long COVID symptoms
For 14 major symptoms of COVID-19, 14.5% of those given Xocova reported at least one of the symptoms six months after the start of treatment, compared with 26.3% who were given a placebo.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 21, 2023
Anti-harassment website set up to help women running for office in Japan
A group of volunteers has created the website to offer free consultations on how to deal with harassment for female candidates in April’s local elections.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 19, 2023
Amid renewed interest in nuclear fusion, Japan’s research reaches critical stage
The nation is helping to pave the way for a cutting-edge project in France, but international cooperation is moving toward competition.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 9, 2023
Panel says Japan's schools can choose mask rules for graduations
The experts still urged school officials to set specific rules beforehand, especially regarding social distancing, venue ventilation and not attending when feeling sick.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Feb 8, 2023
I can't believe it's not meat! Is lab-grown beef on Japanese menus?
This week, Oscar Boyd gives us a review of his cultured chicken meal and runs down the environmental implications of such an endeavor, while Tomoko Otake gets us caught up on where Japan stands in the great race to replicate beef.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 2, 2023
Japanese researcher pushes the boundaries of lab-grown 'real' meat
Numerous hurdles will need to be overcome before such meat is commercially available, including technological, social and legal barriers.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health / FOCUS
Feb 2, 2023
Long COVID’s psychological toll in focus as Japan's deadliest virus outbreak ebbs
While there are still many unknowns about the disease and how its persistent form should be treated, recent Japan-based research has highlighted its effects on mental health.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 27, 2023
As Japan moves to downgrade COVID, focus shifts to messaging on risks
People will be encouraged to make their own judgments on the risk from the coronavirus, but experts say scientifically sound advice will remain important.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 26, 2023
COVID-19 shots should remain free to residents, health ministry experts say
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the decision to downgrade the classification of COVID-19 on Friday.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 20, 2023
Japan to downgrade COVID classification as it seeks to 'live with the virus'
The downgrade is likely to happen in the spring and will mean an end to quarantine guidelines for COVID-19 patients. The government will also review border rules and mask recommendations.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 19, 2023
Japan's government starts talks on 'unprecedented' steps to reverse birthrate decline
Kishida is expected to announce his resolve to roll out significant child care measures next week in a speech to be delivered at the beginning of a new parliamentary session.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 16, 2023
As disease ravages Japan's oak trees, researchers tap tech to aid neglected forests
By digitally cataloging the trees and facilitating their use for green tourism or the building of furniture, researchers say extensive oak wilt can be prevented.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 13, 2023
Abe assassination suspect Tetsuya Yamagami indicted over shooting
Prosecutors have judged Yamagami fit to stand trial after a psychiatric evaluation process required to establish his criminal responsibility.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 12, 2023
Record COVID deaths complicate debate on Japan’s post-pandemic policy
Medical experts are calling for a “gradual” approach as the government eyes a possible downgrade of COVID-19's classification as early as this spring.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jan 11, 2023
Japan study points to high probability of twin earthquakes in Nankai Trough
Running 900 km from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture to the southern coast of Shikoku, the Nankai Trough has been the source of many devastating earthquakes.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal / EXPLAINER
Jan 5, 2023
Indictment draws near for Abe assassination suspect
Tetsuya Yamagami is currently in detention and undergoing psychiatric evaluation, but the period for that process is set to expire soon.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society / New Year Special 2023
Jan 3, 2023
Tracing the history of Mio, a rural Wakayama community with deep ties to Canada
Efforts to preserve Mio's cultural heritage, including memories of the longstanding connections with Canada, have gained momentum in recent years.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 27, 2022
Japan to tighten borders for travelers from China on Dec. 30
All travelers from China as well as those who have been to China within the previous seven days will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Japan.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan