Kanako Takahara

Kanako Takahara is a staff writer who has covered national politics, diplomacy, business and the economy at The Japan Times. A graduate of Sophia University, she is currently a national news editor.

For Kanako Takahara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Kan in budget vote, Ozawa bind

| Feb 17, 2011

Kan in budget vote, Ozawa bind

Already beset by opposition attacks, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is facing another threat to his leadership: a deepening rift within his Democratic Party of Japan over how to punish scandal-ridden party don Ichiro Ozawa. Kan's bid to pass the fiscal 2011 budget and related bills ...

Secret funds shadowed by abuse

| Feb 15, 2011

Secret funds shadowed by abuse

Paying ransom to win the release of kidnapped Japanese, buying off foreign dignitaries to reach backdoor deals and giving cash in exchange for secrets. These are just some of the ways Japan's discretionary funds — known as "kimitsuhi" or "hoshohi" — are used, or so ...

Feb 11, 2011

Kan whiffs again in latest bid to dislodge Ozawa from DPJ

Prime Minister Naoto Kan failed again Thursday to coax indicted Democratic Party of Japan heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa into leaving the DPJ. In their 50-minute meeting, Kan asked Ozawa to relinquish his membership in the DPJ and to wait until a ruling is handed down in ...

Feb 5, 2011

Edano to hold weekly press briefings for all reporters

The top government spokesman's news conferences will be open once a week to reporters outside members of the press club for Prime Minister Naoto Kan's office, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday. The move is part of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration's pledge ...

Ozawa charged over funds misreporting

Feb 1, 2011

Ozawa charged over funds misreporting

Democratic Party of Japan heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa was indicted Monday over a shady land purchase and accounting irregularities linked to his political funds management body, making him the first politician to face trial based on a decision by citizens on a prosecution inquest committee. Ozawa, ...

Kan defends being S&P-blindsided

Jan 29, 2011

Kan defends being S&P-blindsided

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday defended his remarks on the downgrade of Japan's sovereign credit rating by Standard & Poor's, saying he had yet to be informed of the news when he said he was "not familiar with the matter." Kan's remark Thursday drew ...

Opposition issues Ozawa terms

Jan 28, 2011

Opposition issues Ozawa terms

Senior opposition lawmakers demanded Thursday that Ichiro Ozawa testify under oath in the Diet over his alleged involvement in falsifying political funding reports. During a meeting of secretaries general and Diet affairs chiefs of both the ruling and opposition parties, Democratic Party of Japan ...

Jan 27, 2011

Poll to precede any tax hike

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday he has no plans to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election anytime soon but will do so before the government raises the consumption tax. "I have said that I will ask for public judgment before (the sales ...

Jan 25, 2011

Preschool, day care integration plan eases

The Democratic of Japan-led government backed off a bit Monday from a push to integrate the operations of day care facilities with kindergartens and instead offered them financial incentives to merge. The goal of integration was to alleviate both the shortage in day care facilities ...