Francis Tang
For Francis Tang's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield poses for a photo with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi and the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, on Thursday at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 18, 2024
U.S. envoy to U.N. uses Japan visit to bolster U.N. Security Council
“The Security Council of 70 years ago does not reflect the realities of today,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, in December at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Apr 12, 2024
How Ippei Mizuhara allegedly wired millions from Shohei Ohtani’s account
Crucially for Ohtani, a U.S. investigation clearly paints him as a victim without any involvement in or knowledge of his interpreter's gambling woes.
Despite being the home of TSMC’s new factory, the Kyushu region is facing hurdles toward expanding its semiconductor-related transactions.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 11, 2024
Developing Kyushu's chip supply chain still a challenge for TSMC
The issue partially stems from the high barrier of entry into the key semiconductor industry.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's headquarters in Osaka
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 11, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma troubles reverberate in Taiwan as firm assists with recall
Taiwan is the only place outside of Japan to have seen reports of people falling ill after consuming the company's beni kōji.
A man walks on a road in the Sugamo district of Tokyo. The recent death of a 112-year-old in Chiba Prefecture means no man who was born in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) is still alive in the nation.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 10, 2024
Kanagawa 110-year-old becomes Japan's oldest man
Tomisaburo Wakui was born in November 1913 during the Taisho Era (1912-1926).
Takuya Yokota, the representative of the Association of Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, gives a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 5, 2024
Relatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea hope Kishida raises issue in U.S.
Takuya Yokota, who represents a group of family members of abductees, said the matter is a human rights and humanitarian issue.
Tan Tan was supposed to be sent back to China in 2020, but her return was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2024
Japan’s oldest panda, Tan Tan, dies at 28
The giant panda leased from China lived in Kobe Oji Zoo for 24 years as a symbol of recovery from the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.
Beni kо̄ji has been widely used in Japan and elsewhere as a food additive, and features prominently in Okinawan cuisine, particularly in a dish called tо̄fuyо̄.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2024
Beni kōji purveyors fear growing aversion following supplement scandal
The ingredient has long been used in Japan and elsewhere as a food additive, and features prominently in Okinawan cuisine.
According to Yano Research Institute, Japan's supplements market grew about 30% in the span of three years.
Mar 29, 2024
Supplements market in Japan showing steady growth
Improved health awareness sparked by COVID-19 is a major factor fueling the growth, market research firms say.
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Friday
JAPAN / Society
Mar 29, 2024
Cherry blossoms bloom in Tokyo, 15 days later than last year
This year's blooming is the latest in the capital since 2012, when they were declared to have blossomed on March 31.
Kim Jong Un and his daughter Kim Ju Ae attend the opening ceremony of the Gangdong Greenhouse in North Korea in this picture released on March 16.
Mar 27, 2024
North Korea reaches for familiar playbook in talks with Japan
Pyongyang blowing hot and cold on a potential leaders summit is meant to gain the upper hand in negotiations to realize such a meeting.
Those who are planning to move to new homes are finding themselves either struggling to make a reservation or facing increasingly higher costs.
Mar 27, 2024
Japan's moving companies struggle to meet demand amid driver shortage
Charges have increased, even doubled, during the March-April peak moving season as a regulation capping overtime hours for drivers kicks in.
After Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination last week, the buzzword underwent an evolution as he outpaces incumbent President Joe Biden in a number of major polls.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 21, 2024
'What if Trump?' Moshitora reenters Japanese lexicon
The compact Japanese buzzword has resurfaced in local media reports as the ex-president rises through a number of polls.
People walk past a television showing a news broadcast of a past North Korean missile test, at the main railway station in Seoul on Monday.
Mar 18, 2024
North Korea launches three ballistic missiles as top U.S. diplomat visits Seoul
The latest launches came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Seoul for a multinational democracy summit.


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on