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Ryotaro Nakamaru
For Ryotaro Nakamaru's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The Fair Trade Commission has begun a probe on allegations of potential antitrust violations by Google.
BUSINESS / Tech
Oct 23, 2023
Japan begins probe into Google for alleged antitrust violations
Japan’s antitrust watchdog has begun an investigation into whether Alphabet’s Google abuses its market position to block rival services.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 9, 2022
‘Grave of the Fireflies’ candy-maker goes bust as costs soar
The Tokyo-based company will end operations on Jan. 20, attributing the closure to rising raw material and energy prices as well as staff-hiring challenges.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Oct 8, 2022
More robots, less cash and new Shibuya await tourists back to Japan
Japan is opening up again after closing its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic for almost three years — and boy have things changed. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 4, 2022
Kishida administration defends appointment of prime minister's son as senior aide
While placing family members in influential government positions isn't rare, even among democracies, hereditary politics is particularly entrenched in Japan.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 27, 2022
Super Dry brewer Asahi joins Japan businesses raising prices
The price hike, which includes kegs, Yoichi whiskys and other beverages, will take effect for shipments from Oct. 1.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Sep 30, 2021
Kishida's longevity as prime minister hinges on November general election
The jury is still out on whether Kishida's campaign promises — boosting lower- and middle-class incomes and drawing up a COVID-19 economic assistance package — will resonate with the public.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Jul 9, 2021
Will Suga's Olympic gamble pay off?
Suga may have been counting on the Tokyo Olympics to buoy public sentiment before a general election this year. Instead, the games could turn into his biggest liability.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Feb 15, 2021
Vaccine gives Suga a 'lifeline' as electoral future in doubt
The prime minister has put the issue front and center in his messaging to the public over the past month as the 'decisive factor' for bringing the pandemic under control.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Aug 29, 2020
Race to succeed Abe kicks off with no clear favorite
The frontrunners include LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 27, 2020
IAEA chief says Fukushima water release plan meets global standards
The comment by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi comes amid strong opposition from local fishermen and neighboring South Korea to the plan to the release the radioactive water.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Aug 22, 2019
Despite subtle overtures, Japan-South Korea dispute likely to drag on
Recent signs that Japan and South Korea are making subtle overtures to each other have raised hopes that they are moving toward de-escalating their diplomatic feud.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
May 17, 2019
Iran won't negotiate with 'bully' U.S. over nuclear deal, says Tehran foreign minister in Tokyo
Iran's foreign minister says he is not interested in negotiating with the United States after it pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated stifling economic sanctions on Tehran.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Apr 16, 2019
Abe eyes diplomatic win with Xi Jinping visit but faces balancing act between China and U.S.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely be eager to take advantage of Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Japan to flaunt his diplomatic clout, especially in an election year.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 21, 2019
Japan's weakening economy may force Abe to take corrective action ahead of local and Upper House elections
A recent spate of warning signs that the economy is headed for a downturn means the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may need to take corrective action sooner rather than later.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 13, 2019
Not so much obliged: More Japanese women buying Valentine's chocolates for themselves, not colleagues
More and more women in Japan are abandoning the tradition of giving obligatory chocolates to male coworkers on Valentine's Day, instead using the occasion to treat themselves.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 28, 2019
Taro Aso pledges to keep Japan's economy strong as October's consumption tax hike looms
The trick will be to keep household spending steady.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 9, 2019
Housewife-turned-hunter targets wasted boar meat in Japan
It's a familiar scene on the evening news: A wild boar ventures out of the woods looking for food and wreaks havoc on a countryside town, spurring local authorities to arm themselves with nets to catch the rogue animal.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Dec 21, 2018
Japan drags feet on cutting deficit as pre-tax hike budget tops ¥100 trillion
The budget shows Abe's desire to prevent a tax hike from putting the brakes on the economy by triggering a plunge in demand.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Apr 23, 2018
Japan risks getting left behind as G-20 wrestles with monetary tightening issue
With trade issues at the forefront of last week's meeting of the Group of 20 finance leaders, another topic seemed to get less play but deserves equal attention: monetary policy normalization.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 21, 2018
G-20 finance chiefs wary of trade friction but short on solutions
The Group of 20 finance chiefs and central bankers conclude their annual meetings in Washington united against trade wars but baffled on how to prevent them.

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan