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Takuya Okamoto
For Takuya Okamoto's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball
Oct 17, 2021
Did baseball arrive in Japan one year earlier than commonly believed?
A British historian believes the sport was first played in Yokohama in 1871 u2014 a year before American teacher Horace Wilson began teaching its rules to his students.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Jun 2, 2021
Japanese farmers turn to technology to overcome pandemic and aging
New digital technologies are enabling farmers to increase crop output and income without needing additional human labor.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 17, 2021
Bidding war may break out for Toshiba after buyout hits a snag
Investor interest in the growth potential of some of Toshiba's businesses means the company is likely to face continued pressure to streamline its wide-ranging operations.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 19, 2021
Japan's February consumer price index down 0.4%, but pace of drop slows
Nationwide core consumer prices, excluding volatile fresh food items, dropped for the seventh straight month after declining 0.6% in January.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 28, 2021
Pandemic widens divide between winners and losers in Japanese clothing business
An increasing number of people are gravitating toward reasonably priced functional garments and moving away from traditional business wear as working remotely becomes more common.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 22, 2021
Japan's December CPI down 1.0% in steepest fall in over 10 years
The drop is largely due to lower energy prices and the government's travel subsidy campaign, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 8, 2021
Japanese obstetrician fights for 'confidential births' amid apathy
Takeshi Hasuda wants his Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto to lessen the number of dangerous home births by offering women an anonymous service.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / FOCUS
Dec 24, 2020
Japan prepares for digital currency, in line with China and others
But the Bank of Japan is likely to take some years to decide whether to officially issue its digital currency, as are other major central banks.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Nov 13, 2020
Japan's reliance on fossil fuels diminishes EV advantages
Models in Japan were found to emit more carbon dioxide than gasoline engine vehicles until their driving distance reaches 111,511 kilometers.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 20, 2020
Japanese campsites draw crowds as people look to escape pandemic
Sales of outdoor leisure goods went up following the government's declaration of a state of emergency in April, an official of a camping product manufacturer said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Apr 29, 2020
Japan's farm and hotel sectors cooperate as pandemic halts entry of foreign labor
Under entry controls, 220 workers from China, Indonesia and Myanmar bound for one of the Japan's major cabbage production areas have been unable to enter the country.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 28, 2020
Mask-makers distance themselves from Abe's production guarantee prompted by COVID-19
The government and manufacturers of face masks are facing a growing challenge to keep up with demand amid the coronavirus outbreak, fueling concern that shortages of such items will continue for some time and leading to frantic searches by many people for stores that still have supplies.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jan 19, 2020
Separated at birth, Hansen's disease victims detail fallout from defunct segregation policies
Rosita Harum said it was "the most precious moment" of her life when she was reunited with her father, a former leprosy patient, after they were separated for 61 years by a Malaysian policy that quarantined people with the disease.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 24, 2019
India's slowdown emerges as new headache for Japan automakers
While the U.S.-China trade dispute, uncertainties about the global auto market and rising costs for developing cleaner cars are common concerns for automakers, the slowdown in India's market has emerged as a new headache.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Tech / FOCUS
Oct 27, 2019
Japanese electronics firms eye expansion into self-driving and EV technologies
Electronics companies are trying to take advantage of their experience and knowledge to manufacture motors, inverters and sensors that will become indispensable to assemble autonomous and electric cars.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 7, 2019
Yokohama Chinatown joins e-payment rebate push to entice more tourists
Restaurants and shops in Yokohama Chinatown hope government relief measures for businesses introduced with the Oct. 1 consumption tax hike will help bring in new customers.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Sep 22, 2019
Japan faces urgent need to develop autonomous transport due to graying society and driver shortage
Due to its graying society and shortage of drivers, Japan quickly needs to get an autonomous transportation system put into place.
Japan Times
Rugby
Oct 20, 2018
Kumamoto grateful for opportunity to host Rugby World Cup matches
Hideomi Ryu played a central role in getting his native city of Kumamoto elected to host games for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, even when naysayers thought it was no more than a pipe dream in a community dominated by baseball.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 13, 2018
Kin of leprosy patients seek damages and formal apology from Tokyo over alleged discrimination
In closing her testimony during court proceedings of a class-action lawsuit filed by relatives of leprosy patients, plaintiff Nobuko Harada told the Kumamoto District Court in a quivering voice, "All I want is an apology from the government while I am alive."
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Apr 13, 2015
Leprosy patient's execution questioned 50 years later
The murder trial more than half a century ago of Matsuo Fujimoto, a man afflicted with leprosy, was a bizarre affair.

Longform

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