Karin Kaneko
For Karin Kaneko's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Film director Hideo Sakaki leaves the Akasaka Police Station in Tokyo on Wednesday as police take him to prosecutors.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Feb 21, 2024
Film director Hideo Sakaki held on suspicion of sexual assault
While allegations of sexual abuse were made against Sakaki as far back as March 2022, this is the first time that the director has been taken into custody.
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto votes at a polling station during the general election in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, on Wednesday.
Feb 14, 2024
Prabowo on track to win Indonesia’s presidential election
This is Prabowo’s third time to run for the country’s top job, after losing in 2014 and 2019 to incumbent Joko "Jokowo" Widodo.
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto speaks during a campaign rally in Jakarta on Saturday.
Feb 11, 2024
Indonesian election candidates make their case as election day looms
With young people accounting for almost 60% of the electorate, the candidates have needed to factor in their demands and preferences.
Shoko Kawata stumps in the city of Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture, last year.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 6, 2024
Japan's youngest female city mayor is focused on women's empowerment
The election of Shoko Kawata, 33, was unexpected — but was a welcome change for some.
Zain Syed (left), a Pakistan-born Japanese citizen; Maurice, a U.S. citizen with permanent residency in Japan; and Matthew, a Pacific Islander with permanent residency, outside the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo on Monday
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 29, 2024
Lawsuit filed in Tokyo over alleged racial profiling by police
The plaintiffs are seeking around ¥3 million in damages each from central and local governments in the case, which is the first of its kind.
A man prays on July 19, 2019, outside the Kyoto Animation building where 36 people died in a fire caused by Shinji Aoba the previous day.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 24, 2024
Possible death penalty looms for Kyoto Animation arson suspect
The trial shed light on his upbringing, the emergence of his grudge against the studio and how he went ahead with his plan of attack despite some hesitation.
TV screens in Osaka show news of a large earthquake hitting a wide area of the Sea of Japan coast in central Japan and subsequent tsunami warnings in the affected regions on Jan. 1.
JAPAN / Society
Jan 19, 2024
How Japan’s quake information apparatus springs into action
Lessons from 3/11 led to greater urgency in communications and centralization of information, while tech continues to shape the approach.
Cars drive past a damaged road, in the aftermath of an earthquake, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.
PODCAST / deep dive
Jan 18, 2024
Japan rings in 2024 with an unwelcome disaster
Join us for the first episode of 2024 as we recap the massive New Year’s Day earthquake and its impact on the people of Ishikawa Prefecture.
Shimon Ishimaru, the deputy leader of a group of Johnny Kitagawa's sexual abuse victims, said dozens had come to the group for advice after being denied compensation.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Jan 17, 2024
Johnny's abuse victims seek transparency on compensation criteria
Many are unable to prove past affiliations with the agency, with some alleging that the wrongdoings occurred before the signing of contracts.
Police conduct a large-scale search at the Wajima Morning Market, which was destroyed by fire following the New Year's Day earthquake, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.
Jan 9, 2024
Japan quake death toll tops 200 as police comb burned-down market
Police searched a market devastated by fire in Ishikawa Prefecture following the massive Jan. 1 earthquake, as the number of missing fell from 323 to 102.
The owner of a seafood shop in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, provides meals on Wednesday for residents affected by the massive earthquake that hit the region on New Year's Day.
Jan 6, 2024
Nationwide donation effort for earthquake-hit Ishikawa gains steam
From charities and companies to individuals, efforts to help people in areas devastated by the magnitude 7.6 earthquake are proliferating across the country.
Tomoyoshi Taniguchi (left), Ryuko Neya (center) and Taiko Minami with pets at the Misogichiku Community Center in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture. Pet owners were told they could not enter the shelter room and had to stay in hallways and the entrance hall.
JAPAN / Society
Jan 4, 2024
In Ishikawa, shelter for people but not four-legged friends
One pet owner's experience in quake-hit Ishikawa highlights the many challenges facing such people in times of disaster, and is a recurring issue.
Firefighters inspect collapsed wooden houses in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday, a day after a major 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Noto region in the prefecture.
Jan 3, 2024
Ishikawa quake rescue efforts ramp up as crucial time window narrows
Over 33,000 people are staying in evacuation centers with limited access to electricity and water.
A collapsed building in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday following Monday's earthquake
Jan 2, 2024
Dozens killed as Japan assesses damage from massive quake
The Monday afternoon quake led to the collapse of multiple buildings, caused landslides and sparked a large-scale fire in a popular tourist area.
Ohkawara Kakohki President Masaaki Okawara speaks to reporters in front of the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday following a ruling ordering the government to pay damages.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 27, 2023
Tokyo court rules executives of spray dryer firm were wrongly indicted
The case involving Ohkawara Kakohki, a Yokohama-based manufacturer, has once again highlighted problems in the nation’s criminal justice system.
A group of 19 host club owners in Kabukicho who own most of the host clubs in the area have pledged to ban the pay-later system by April and prohibit entry to those under 20 years old from January.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 26, 2023
How Japan's host clubs trap young women under mountains of debt
False promises of love — and even marriage — lead to huge bills for some as young as 18, who are often then coaxed into sex work to make repayments.
Haruyuki Takahashi (center) arrives at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 14, 2023
Former Tokyo Games executive pleads not guilty over bribery
Haruyuki Takahashi is accused of accepting about ¥200 million in bribes to help firms be selected as sponsors and marketing agents for the Games.
Actress Midori Suiren (center), filmmaker Kenzo Kaga (right) and cinematographer Shin Hayasaka attend a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 7, 2023
Actors say sexual abuse is a structural problem in Japan’s film industry
Despite the revelation of Johnny Kitagawa’s sexual abuse, the actors say their claims are being trivialized as personal relationship issues.
An area known as Toyoko in the Kabukicho entertainment district in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 6, 2023
High school girl arrested for selling cough medicine illegally
The arrest coincides with a surge of young people in Japan abusing over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicine.
Ayuko Kato, minister in charge of child policies. A group of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have submitted a report to the Child and Family Agency detailing sexual abuse.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 28, 2023
Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses submit report detailing sexual abuse
The report said that the most common perpetrators of sexual abuse were “rank-and-file witnesses” and “elders.”


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