Natsuko Fukue
For Natsuko Fukue's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Wim Wenders (left) co-wrote the script for “Perfect Days” with top advertising creative Takuma Takasaki. Japanese star Koji Yakusho (right) won best actor at Cannes last year for his performance as the film’s protagonist, a taciturn toilet cleaner in Tokyo.
Feb 27, 2024
Oscar-nominated 'Perfect Days' is 'not about toilets,' Wenders says
The director's film about a taciturn cleaner who keeps Tokyo's public toilets spotless prompts reflections on urban solitude, community and growing older.
Toyota raised its annual net profit forecast to a record high ¥4.5 trillion in the year ending in March.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 6, 2024
Toyota raises annual net profit forecast as chip shortage eases
But scandals involving rigged engine and safety tests at subsidiaries led the firm to slightly revise down its sales target for the financial year.
A Korean Air plane (left) and Cathay Pacific aircraft made contact with each other at New Chitose Airport on Tuesday.
Jan 17, 2024
Korean Air plane 'strikes' Cathay aircraft in Japan; no injuries
The incident at New Chitose Airport serving Sapporo came two weeks after a near-catastrophic collision at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Umbrellas are displayed at Komiya Shoten, a company that has made handcrafted umbrellas for rain or shine for nearly a century, in Higashi-Nihombashi, Tokyo, on Aug. 3.
Sep 21, 2023
Heat brings hope for handmade umbrella-maker in Tokyo
One of Tokyo's last handmade umbrella shops has weathered many storms and is now thriving, thanks to booming demand for parasols.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies / FOCUS
Jul 18, 2023
Suntory's Yamazaki Distillery turns 100 as whisky demand enjoys renewed boom
Japan's acclaimed aged whiskies are commanding increasingly eye-watering prices thanks to growing demand and long-standing shortages.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
May 20, 2023
Women take on Japan's political gender gap for 'true democracy'
A Tokyo-based foundation has organized a series of seminars by leading politicians for 20 women age under 40 in a bid to address the nation's political imbalance.
Japan Times
May 19, 2023
Takeshi Kitano returns to Cannes with an 'indifferent' outlook
The director's first feature-length film in six years will premiere at the festival, but Kitano says he does things his own way, regardless of success.
Japan Times
May 3, 2023
Kabuki kids: The children of Japan's traditional theater
The son of a renowned actress and grandson of a famed kabuki actor, 10-year-old Maholo Terajima has made history as the first recognized dual national to make his debut in the art form.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2023
'Don't blame women': Japan's birth drive sparks online debate
Japan's government has made tackling its falling birthrate a top priority, but with few women involved in official debate on the issue, some are making themselves heard on social media.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 14, 2023
Japan rolls out 'humble and lovable' delivery robots
From April, revised traffic laws will allow self-driving delivery robots to navigate streets across the country.
Japan Times
Jan 15, 2023
'Can't keep up': Pandemic cooking boom sharpens knife sales in Japan
Japanese knives are also winning more converts among aspiring and professional chefs, who prize their delicate precision, sleek finish and long lifespan.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 16, 2022
Born this way: Rats move to beat of Lady Gaga, study says
Researchers at the University of Tokyo played Mozart, Queen and Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' to rats wearing miniature sensors to detect even the tiniest movements.
Japan Times
PODCAST / deep dive
Oct 28, 2021
Princess Mako's not-so-fairytale wedding
After a three-year delay, Princess Mako finally married her university sweetheart Kei Komuro on Tuesday.
Japan Times
Dec 1, 2012
Media grill party chiefs in televised debate
With campaigning for the Lower House election set to kick off in a few days, the leaders of 11 parties gathered for a televised discussion Friday that saw most of the questions thrown at Liberal Democratic Party chief Shinzo Abe, whose party leads the opinion polls.
Japan Times
Nov 30, 2012
Nippon Ishin qualifies nuclear phaseout goal
Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), the "third force" emerging as a serious challenger to the political status quo, unveiled a watered-down version of its election platform Thursday devoid of a definitive road map for phasing out nuclear power.
Japan Times
Nov 27, 2012
Ishihara talks up weapons exports as deterrent
Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) leader Shintaro Ishihara said Monday that Japan should produce arms for export overseas so its advanced military technology can act as a deterrent.
Japan Times
Nov 21, 2012
Ishihara rattles saber against China
Shintaro Ishihara, the new head of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), remained true to his China-hawk form Tuesday by saying Japan should "simulate" possessing nuclear arms as a deterrent to Beijing.
Nov 16, 2012
Foes forced Noda to call dissolution
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda moved to dissolve the Lower House on Friday amid constant pressure from the opposition and also from Democratic Party of Japan members who wanted him to step down, but his gamble is unlikely to work in the ruling party's favor.
Japan Times
Nov 15, 2012
Noda will schedule election for Dec. 16
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday he plans to dissolve the Lower House on Friday and schedule the general election for Dec. 16.
Nov 14, 2012
Opposition meeting Noda poll conditions
The Democratic Party of Japan agreed Tuesday with two opposition parties on amendments to the deficit-covering bonds bill, ensuring its passage Thursday — a key condition Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has set for dissolving the Lower House for an election.


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