Gabriele Ninivaggi
For Gabriele Ninivaggi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
A fundraising party for the LDP's largest faction, which was lead by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe until his death
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 1, 2023
Abe's former faction in focus as LDP political fund scandal deepens
Prosecutors are investigating the faction as part of a scandal involving the alleged underreporting of funds by groups within the ruling party.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi (center) and Taro Kono attend a Lower House session in Tokyo last week.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 29, 2023
Despite low approval ratings, Kishida likely to keep top job
While the situation around the government warrants no optimism, experts agree the prime minister has no reason to fret.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a Budget Committee session in the Lower House in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Nov 24, 2023
Why is Fumio Kishida called 'the four-eyed tax-hiker'?
The prime minister hasn’t actually raised taxes for the public at large since he took office over two years ago — at least, not yet.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a Budget Committee session in the Lower House in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 22, 2023
LDP faces scrutiny in parliament over underreporting of funds
Sizable omissions in political funding reports by the ruling party took center stage in parliamentary debate as the opposition questioned the government.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a family photo during an APEC summit in San Francisco on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 17, 2023
Kishida and Xi aim for trade progress despite lingering tensions
Their talks signaled initial momentum toward a cautious detente, although the two countries appeared to prioritize an improvement in economic ties.
A bill that would raise the pay for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Cabinet ministers and some civil servants was passed by the  Lower House Cabinet Committee on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 10, 2023
Bill that would hike Kishida and Cabinet's pay clears Lower House committee
The plan has been met with fierce backlash from opposition parties, with lawmakers lambasting the government for its “poor political judgment.”
A man dressed as Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders jumps into the Dotonbori River in Osaka after the Hanshin Tigers won the Japan Series.
PODCAST / deep dive
Nov 9, 2023
Japan’s 'four-eyed tax hiker' and the curse of Colonel Sanders
Baseball writer Jason Coskrey and editor Joel Tansey discuss the Hanshin Tigers’ Japan Series victory; Gabriele Ninivaggi explains how the prime minister hopes to get a home run with his tax plan.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishda speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 9, 2023
Kishida rules out snap election amid record low popularity
The prime minister has once again ruled out a snap election as he faces record low popularity ratings and growing criticism from within his own party.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa speak as they wait for a group photo session during the Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 8, 2023
G7 top diplomats call for ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Israel-Hamas war
The statement didn’t mention a cease-fire, only noting the necessity of humanitarian action.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida holds a news conference about a new economic stimulus package in Tokyo on Thursday.
Nov 2, 2023
Kishida unveils ¥17 trillion stimulus package amid pushback
A supplementary budget proposal — worth a total of ¥13.1 trillion — to back the package will be submitted to parliament in the upcoming weeks.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida holds his glasses during an Upper House Budget Committee session in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 1, 2023
Hotly debated tax cuts risk backfiring on Kishida administration
When Kishida announced plans to cut income and residence taxes to ease the hit from inflation, there was a chorus of skepticism rather than joy.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida answers questions during an Upper House Budget Committee session on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 31, 2023
State justice minister resigns over link to illegal campaigning
Mito Kakizawa, state minister of justice, resigned Tuesday after admitting to being involved in election campaign misconduct in the spring.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replies to questions at Friday's budget committee session at the Diet in Tokyo.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 27, 2023
Amid scrutiny, Kishida emphasizes tax cuts to pull out from deflation
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has heavily criticized the government for its belated response to rising inflation.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listens as Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan chief Kenta Izumi speaks in parliament in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 24, 2023
Tough questions for Kishida in parliament over spending plans
Japan’s main opposition party began its scrutiny of Kishida's economic stimulus package as the country struggles with inflation and stagnant wages.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a policy speech during an extraordinary session of parliament in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 23, 2023
The economy takes center stage in Kishida’s policy speech
"'The economy, the economy, the economy.’ I will focus my attention on the economy more than anything else,” Kishida said in opening remarks.
For Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, tackling the impact of rising prices has become a key priority.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Oct 19, 2023
Upcoming parliament session puts Kishida's stimulus package in spotlight
Tackling inflation has become a key priority for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as economic trends have played a part in his low approval ratings.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida fist bumps voters in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Sunday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 16, 2023
Kishida’s popularity in free fall ahead of key political events
The government’s popularity hit a record low in four public opinion surveys over the weekend, just as the political calendar looks set to heat up.
Israeli Ambassador to Japan Gilad Cohen speaks about the current situation in Israel amid the ongoing conflict with the Hamas militant group, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 13, 2023
Israeli and Palestinian envoys to Japan detail a week of violence
Both envoys expressed hope for Japan's diplomatic role in the conflict, but from very different perspectives.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a high level Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine, on the sidelines of the 78th U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sept. 20.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 11, 2023
Ukraine fatigue unlikely to reach Japan anytime soon
Japan’s support for Ukraine remains steadfast at a time when popular opinion across several Western countries shows growing signs of weariness.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan head Kenta Izumi (left) and the Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki (right) attend a Rengo convention in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 5, 2023
Kishida’s attendance at union event offers hint at electoral strategy
The prime minister attended the event in his latest effort to court union members and expand his party's electoral base.


Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku