Masami Ito

Masami is a staff writer for the Life and Culture Division at The Japan Times. She is in charge of the weekly Sunday Timeout, covering various issues related to Japan, from alcohol/drug addiction and juvenile crime to female sushi chefs and kendama. Over her 15-year career, she has written extensively on Japanese politics, foreign policy and social issues.

For Masami Ito's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jun 24, 2014

Harassment rife in local assemblies

The sexist taunting of a female politician during a session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is part of a long-running problem and victims often suffer in silence, some assembly members say.

Film sheds light on plight of left-behind parents

Apr 17, 2013

Film sheds light on plight of left-behind parents

Images of left-behind parents, holding up photos of their children, flash across the screen. In the United States, Canada, Europe and even Japan, these parents are waiting to reunite with offspring taken away by their estranged Japanese spouses. The documentary film "From The Shadows," completed ...

/ Apr 13, 2013

Final Somali pirate slapped with 11-year term

The Tokyo District Court on Friday convicted a Somali national and sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment for attempting to hijack a Japan-operated oil tanker off the coast of Oman in March 2011. He is the last of four Somali men brought to Japan to ...

Foreign trainee system said still plagued by rights abuses

| Apr 9, 2013

Foreign trainee system said still plagued by rights abuses

Last month, a Chinese trainee went on a stabbing rampage at a Hiroshima Prefecture seafood company where he worked, killing the president and an employee and wounding six others. The man had been a trainee at the oyster-processing plant as part of a government-authorized technical ...

New noninvasive test gives clue but not full diagnosis

/ Mar 28, 2013

New noninvasive test gives clue but not full diagnosis

Although media reports emphasize the accuracy of a new noninvasive prenatal screening test, raising expectations among expectant mothers, it does not definitively diagnose three types of chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome, warned Haruhiko Sago, head of the Center for Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at ...

/ Mar 22, 2013

Trial translation faults irk lay judges

The conviction in Tokyo of a U.S. minor for the slaying of an Irish woman once again highlights Japan's lack of a national accreditation system for court interpreters, after the lay judges complained about misinterpretations.