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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
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.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 18, 2022
Tokyo's solar panel mandate a major shift in a country where fossil fuels reign
The capital is moving to break away from a longtime reliance on other regions — and planet-warming fossil fuels — to meet its massive energy demand.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Dec 15, 2022
Despite unclear effectiveness, kanpō in short supply amid COVID wave
The widespread use and availability of kanpu014d in Japan has given some people hope that it may work as a viable treatment for the viral disease.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 4, 2022
From Kyoto Protocol to ‘fossil’ awards: Japan’s climate image stained by inaction
A quarter century after Japan hosted the COP3 climate talks where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, the country's record at the national level is a study in contrasts.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Dec 3, 2022
Global conference stresses need to put women's issues at top of policy agendas
Leaders and luminaries weigh in on how to incorporate women's perspectives into government and business decision-making.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 28, 2022
Japan panel seeks clarification of primary care system after COVID issues
A health ministry panel has proposed clarifying the function of such physicians in law, after the pandemic highlighted ambiguities in the role they play in the community.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 25, 2022
Keio University researchers seek approval for first uterus transplant in Japan
If approved, the procedure could pave the way for some women without a functional uterus to have a child without turning to surrogacy or adoption.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 17, 2022
Facing stigma, people with diabetes seek change of disease's Japanese name
According to a recent survey of over 1,000 people who have diabetes, many feel 'uncomfortable' or 'troubled' by the disease's current name.

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