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Linda Sieg
For Linda Sieg's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Mar 29, 2019
Vietnamese nun in Tokyo prays for compatriots who lost lives at work in Japan, fearing more to come
Rows of wooden mortuary tablets inscribed with names line an altar at a Buddhist temple in Tokyo — silent testimony to Vietnamese people who died after coming to Japan to work or study.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Mar 20, 2019
Vietnamese blue-collar workers in Japan seen facing risks as labor system opens up
When a young Vietnamese woman found out late last year that she was pregnant after arriving in Japan on a technical trainee visa, she was given a stark choice: "Have an abortion or go back to Vietnam."
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 13, 2018
Abe pursues thaw with China amid frigid U.S.-Chinese ties
While U.S. President Donald Trump appears to wage a trade "Cold War" on China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will promote a thaw with Beijing at a summit this month where business ties will be in the spotlight.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 26, 2018
Shrinking applicant pool: Japan's Self Defense Forces struggling to recruit amid population crisis
As a Self-Defense Forces recruiter sat patiently at a booth outside a supermarket in Tokyo one recent weekend, she welcomed a rare visitor, high school student Kazuaki Matsumura.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 16, 2018
In Mabicho, delays, lack of awareness raised death toll from floods
When Isao Akutagawa moved to the sleepy riverside community of Mabicho in Okayama Prefecture 45 years ago, it seemed like the perfect suburb to raise his children.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 11, 2018
Japan hit by worst weather disaster in decades: Why did so many die?
Torrential rains unleashed floods and set off landslides in western Japan last week, killing at least 176 people, forcing millions to evacuate and leaving dozens missing in the country's worst weather disaster in 36 years.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 26, 2018
Wife of Japan's prime minister finds herself in scandal spotlight
First lady Akie Abe, once known mainly for embracing progressive causes that put her at odds with her conservative spouse, is now in the hot seat as doubts revive about the murky land sale to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen to which she had ties.
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Feb 5, 2018
'Let's talk': Japan hopes low-key strategy will avert U.S. trade flare-up
Economic talks between the United States and Japan, tackling topics from persimmons and potatoes to energy and infrastructure, have helped keep Tokyo clear of protectionist moves such as those that recently hit Chinese solar panels and South Korean washers.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 14, 2017
Edano's David goes after Abe's 'arrogant' Goliath in Diet
The leader of the small Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which exceeded expectations in October's snap poll, now hopes that by offering clear policy alternatives he can oust Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition in the next election.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / ANALYSIS
Sep 30, 2017
Yuriko Koike's energized challenge exposes risk of Abe's snap poll decision
A fast-growing challenge by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc has highlighted the risk of his gamble on a snap poll.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / ANALYSIS
Aug 1, 2017
Abe's dream of amending Constitution slipping away
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has achieved much of his conservative security agenda since taking office in 2012, but unless he can revive his flagging popularity, his goal of revising the pacifist Constitution is likely to elude his grasp.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Jul 26, 2017
'Japan's Macron' Shinjiro Koizumi in the spotlight ahead of Cabinet shake-up
He's young, good-looking and the media call him "Japan's Macron," so it is little surprise that lawmakers say Shinjiro Koizumi may be offered a post when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffles his Cabinet next month in a bid to revive his public support, which is now sagging.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Jul 14, 2017
Abe's sinking popularity may thwart quest to revise Constitution's Article 9
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cherished goal of revising Japan's pacifist Constitution has become more difficult to achieve after a plunge in his popularity and the erosion of public trust, a ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Apr 20, 2017
Japan's middle-aged 'parasite singles' face uncertain future
Their youth long gone, members of Japan's generation of "parasite singles" face a precarious future, wondering how to survive once the parents many depended on for years pass away.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 19, 2017
Once seen as invincible, Abe beset by scandal on two fronts as questions swirl
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now in a rare fifth year as leader, is battling scandals on two separate fronts as questions swirl about his ties to a nationalist school involved in a murky land deal and his defense minister faces calls to resign.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 22, 2017
Historians lead charge as abdication talk raises slew of Imperial issues
A panel of experts is expected to indicate a preference for a special law allowing Emperor Akihito to retire, but many questions are still to be answered.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 2, 2016
Government lobbies wary firms to invest in Russia in bid to resolve territorial dispute
The government is lobbying Japanese firms to invest in Russian projects to help secure a breakthrough in a festering territorial row with Moscow when President Vladimir Putin visits Japan in December, sources have said.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Aug 18, 2016
Renho, front-runner to lead top opposition party, says Abenomics has stalled
The clear favorite to become the first female leader of Japan's biggest opposition party believes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's signature Abenomics policy has stalled and a change of gear is needed to favor people over corporations.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Aug 3, 2016
If the pope can retire, why can't Japan's elderly Emperor?
Pope Benedict XVI did it. Dutch Queen Beatrix did it. So why is it so hard for Japan's elderly Emperor to abdicate?
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 27, 2016
Japan eyes more foreign workers in stealthy challenge to immigration taboo
Desperately seeking an antidote to a rapidly aging population, Japanese policymakers are exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an "immigration policy."

Longform

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