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Junko Suzuki

For Junko Suzuki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

National Jan 27, 2009

Consumers warm to ginger in drinks, soups

Long used as a spice in cooking, "shoga" (ginger) is now being added to caramel, cocoa, vegetable juice and "happoshu" beerlike drinks. Kuracie Foods Ltd., a Tokyo-based sweets and ice cream manufacturer, marketed a new product called Ginger Cube in September. Each pack consists of ...

Barrier-free tours gain popularity

National Jan 1, 2009

Barrier-free tours gain popularity

So-called barrier-free tours are on the rise at home and abroad as travel agencies try to come up with a wider variety of travel packages that cater to the needs of elderly and disabled people. Two years ago, Matsuyoshi Yamaguchi, 66, and his wife, Keiko, ...

National Oct 1, 2008

Net communication putting students in touch

More schools are using information-communication equipment and some are even using the technology to carry out exchanges with other schools in distant places. Yoshiki Ishii, a teacher at an elementary school in Higashimiyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture, began using "Wai Wai Recorder," online collaboration software sold by ...

National Apr 9, 2008

Firms see gold in metabolic syndrome war

Companies offering programs aimed at reducing metabolic syndrome are making headway in anticipation of the multibillion yen market likely to be generated from the April introduction of obligatory physical checkups and health counseling. People aged 40 to 74 are required to take medical examinations to ...

Food 'meisters' coming to the fore

National Jan 17, 2008

Food 'meisters' coming to the fore

It may be the recent food-related scandals, or it may just be the latest manifestation of Japan's fascination with the culinary arts, but more and more people are seeking accreditation as experts on specific kinds of food. According to the people who grant such accreditation, ...

Marketers use sample shop to gauge consumers

Business Nov 2, 2007

Marketers use sample shop to gauge consumers

For consumers looking for freebies, its hard to beat the Sample Lab! store in Tokyo. For businesses desperately seeking precise marketing data, it's hard to beat the detailed questionnaires that the store's members fill out on the free products they take home. Since the store opened ...

Disabled find jobs as workforce shrinks

Business Aug 3, 2007

Disabled find jobs as workforce shrinks

A growing number of socially aware companies are stepping up efforts to support the disabled by offering jobs suitable for physically and mentally impaired people. Many disabled workers are as active as able-bodied workers and some enterprises are looking to them as a source of ...

National Sep 28, 2006

'Furoshiki' beats the usual wrap

"Furoshiki," the wrapping cloth used since ancient times, is increasingly being viewed as highly suitable for modern life, as more people become environmentally conscious and try to reduce the amount of waste related to use of paper and plastic bags. Proving the old adage that ...

National Jul 1, 2006

Mobile phone-downloadable 'manga' boom market with insatiable demand

"Manga" comics that can be downloaded to mobile phones are increasing at a rapid rate and beginning to exceed the number available for personal computers and personal digital assistants. Industry analysts said the market is expected to grow further as mobile phone technology improves. Improved ...