Gabriele Ninivaggi
For Gabriele Ninivaggi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a Lower House ethics committee hearing in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 29, 2024
Kishida apologizes over slush funds scandal at ethics committee meeting
In a rare appearance in front of the committee, the prime minister also vowed to implement political reforms in the wake of the scandal.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tells reporters that he plans to attend a Lower House ethics committee hearing, in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 28, 2024
Kishida says he will attend ethics committee hearing on funds scandal
In addition to Kishida, five senior LDP members will face the committee in front of a fully-open session of the Lower House on Thursday and Friday.
In early February, the Finance Ministry announced that government debt at the end of last year had reached a record high of ¥1.2 quadrillion.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Feb 27, 2024
With downfall of Abe faction, some see a shift in Japan’s debt debate
The faction has long promoted fiscal stimulus, but its demise combined with wider economic conditions could open up space for a different approach.
Lower House Budget Committee executives discuss next week's schedule in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 22, 2024
Committee probing LDP funds scandal set to open next week
The committee will likely gather next Wednesday and Thursday to interrogate five senior LDP lawmakers over their involvement in a kickback scheme.
Education Minister Masahito Moriyama bows to parliament after a motion of no confidence against him was voted down in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 20, 2024
Japan opposition fails with censure motion against education minister
The CDP's move against a Unification Church-linked minister came as the party also called for questioning over a slush funds scandal.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (right) presents a gift to a Ukrainian refugee an event at the Keidanren Kaikan in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 19, 2024
As war fatigue grows, Japan pledges long-term support to Ukraine
Describing the aid as an investment in the future, Tokyo emphasized how Japan’s technology and expertise in reconstruction could serve Ukraine’s needs.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Prime Minister's Office on Feb. 8
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 14, 2024
Kishida becomes 10th longest-serving prime minister in postwar era
In the last 25 years, only Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe have served as prime minister for longer than Kishida.
Education minister Masahito Moriyama (right) responds to questions from Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Chinami Nishimura in the Lower House on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 7, 2024
Education minister under fire for unreported ties to Unification Church
Masahito Moriyama said he could not remember 2021 meeting with the group or the agreement he signed with it for electoral support.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida waits for the start of the Lower House Budget Committee in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 5, 2024
Parties clash over release of LDP's internal funds scandal probe
The opposition had demanded that the LDP publish a list of all party members responsible for the underreporting of political funds in the last five years.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a policy speech during a plenary session of the Lower House in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 30, 2024
Kishida comes full circle in policy speech with emphasis on 'power'
Amid low approval ratings and soul-searching for the ruling party, the prime minister made "power" a key theme in his policy speech.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a Lower House Budget Committee session in Tokyo on Monday
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 29, 2024
Japan's opposition eyes united front on political funds reform
Lawmakers are targeting cross-party cooperation on a variety of issues including the revision of the Political Funds Control Act.
Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi (left), Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the party's vice president, Taro Aso, attend a party reform panel in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 25, 2024
LDP’s reform report appears light on firm actions targeting faction politics
Two weeks of hurried debate is unlikely to eradicate factionalism, which has long been seen as a defining trait of the party, experts say.
Kochikai, formerly led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, meets in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 23, 2024
LDP agrees to reshape factions and toughen rules on political funding
It remains unclear, however, whether this move will lead to a substantial reform of the party's faction-oriented politics.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s sudden announcement on Thursday regarding the dissolution of his Liberal Democratic Party faction came after the group became caught up in a slush funds scandal that continues to shake his administration and the party.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 19, 2024
LDP turmoil continues as three major factions announce dissolution
Lawmakers from the 98-member political faction that was previously led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the decision during a meeting Friday night.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference on Dec. 13.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 18, 2024
Kishida aims to disband his faction amid political funds scandals
The move would mark a bid to restore public trust toward politics amid a series of political funds scandals.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida referred to the underreporting by the faction that he previously led as “a series of administrative errors” and added that the group was going to make necessary amendments on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 18, 2024
LDP political funds probe nears close with top lawmakers likely unscathed
Clerical staff of LDP factions will likely face indictment over underreporting of revenues in political funds reports, while party heavyweights will emerge largely unscathed.
After two meetings of an ad-hoc panel established by party leader and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier this month, fissures between lawmakers have emerged, and at the moment the outcome of the debate remains hard to predict.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 17, 2024
Dissolving factions becomes focus of LDP funding scandal task force
The discussions have led to divisions between lawmakers, and at the moment the outcome of the debate remains hard to predict.
A member of the Self-Defense Forces leads residents from Fukamimachi, a village isolated by the Jan. 1 earthquake, to safety in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture on Saturday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 11, 2024
Ishikawa earthquake response sees growing opposition scrutiny
Criticisms of the number of SDF personnel deployed to the area and level of financial support for evacuees have grown louder among opposition parties.
A member of the Air Self-Defense Force searches for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Friday.
Jan 5, 2024
Rescue operations in quake-hit Ishikawa brace for bad weather
Poor weather conditions have already hindered efforts to find those still buried under collapsed buildings.
A man inspects what remains of his liquor shop which was burnt down by a fire, in the aftermath of an earthquake, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Thursday.
Jan 4, 2024
Death toll rises in Ishikawa as rescue effort continues amid poor weather
Rain and snow might lead to landslides where the ground is loose as a result of continuing quakes.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves