Mariko Kato

For Mariko Kato's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Feb 18, 2009

Myanmar refugees to try resettling

As Japan prepares to take in Myanmarese from Thai refugee camps, it is important that the communities they resettle in fully support their integration into society, experts said at a recent Tokyo symposium held by the Foreign Ministry. In fiscal 2010, Japan will begin ...

Feb 18, 2009

Clinton meets abductees' relatives, pledges to help find resolution

Relatives of people kidnapped by North Korea met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who stressed that international cooperation is key to resolving the long-running problem. "Clinton said she would think seriously about how to treat the problem, although she avoided discussing ...

Feb 17, 2009

Slump exposes holes in safety net

The recent massive layoffs of temporary employees by blue-chip firms have shocked and scared workers in a nation long known for accommodative labor relations and lifetime employment. Experts warn this year will see more layoffs that will push the unemployment rate higher, and more regular ...

Feb 7, 2009

Canada fetes ties with programs

The Canadian Embassy called on Japanese schools and students Friday to apply for education-related programs it will launch to celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan this year. As part of its Youth and Innovation venture, the embassy said Friday it is offering ...

Feb 5, 2009

Fujitsu allows workers to moonlight to make ends meet

In a sign of the times, major electronics firm Fujitsu Ltd. is allowing some of its factory workers to hold second jobs to compensate for shorter working hours and lower wages amid the deepening recession, the company said Wednesday. The majority of 5,000 full-time factory ...

Jan 31, 2009

Teens face DoCoMo 'encounter' site ban

NTT DoCoMo Inc. on Friday became the first mobile phone company to automatically ban customers under 18 from accessing suspicious Internet dating sites as the government attempts to crack down on "deaikei" (encounter) crimes. The move, to be followed by the other major cell phone ...

Jan 29, 2009

NHK to launch global 24-hour news channel

NHK will launch Japan's first 24-hour international broadcasting service on Feb. 2. NHK World TV will provide international news in English, with a focus on Japan and Asia. It will be available in some 70 countries and regions via satellite, cable TV and the Internet. "We ...

Tsukiji reopens tuna auctions to the public

Jan 20, 2009

Tsukiji reopens tuna auctions to the public

The Tsukiji fish market, one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions, reopened its early morning tuna auctions to the public Monday after a monthlong ban. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which runs the gigantic wholesale market in Chuo Ward, temporarily banned onlookers, 90 percent of whom ...