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Naoko Aoki

For Naoko Aoki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

National May 11, 2008

Hu answers calls for rapprochement

Chinese President Hu Jintao's trip to Japan this week, the first by a Chinese leader in a decade, was marked by less bitterness about the war and more publicity events aimed at wooing a wary Japanese public. Behind the lighter tone and Hu's charm offensive, ...

Six-nation negotiators scramble to reach accord

National Feb 13, 2007

Six-nation negotiators scramble to reach accord

Negotiators for the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs continued talks late into the night Monday, while a South Korean news report said that progress has been made and they may draw up a revised draft agreement later the same day. The representatives from ...

North Korea home: Be it ever so humble, rationed

National Dec 27, 2006

North Korea home: Be it ever so humble, rationed

Equipped with a Japanese-brand television set, a sofa and a large wooden wardrobe, Kim Won Gyong's four-room apartment could easily be mistaken for a middle-class dwelling in China, South Korea or Japan. But hung on the wall of the living room are two objects rarely ...

Impact of sanctions invisible in Pyongyang stores

National Dec 13, 2006

Impact of sanctions invisible in Pyongyang stores

While countries have begun drawing up lists of luxury items they will deny North Korea in response to the country's nuclear test, the impact has yet to be seen in the handful of stores that sell imported goods in Pyongyang. During a recent visit, store ...

Japanese restaurants find a niche in Beijing

Business Oct 4, 2006

Japanese restaurants find a niche in Beijing

BEIJING (Kyodo) Yi Kehan, a 17-year-old Beijing student, was hooked a year ago when she tasted "chawan mushi," or Japanese-style savory egg custard. "There is a similar dish in China, but the Japanese version was different in ways I can't quite explain. I wanted my ...

National / Politics Aug 18, 2006

Yasukuni issue poses headache for China, too

While Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's latest visit to Yasukuni Shrine throws up yet another obstacle on the road to better Sino-Japanese ties, Chinese leaders are troubled for another reason. The shrine visit could trigger large demonstrations similar to the anti-Japanese protests that broke out around ...

National Apr 21, 2006

Japanese majors seen on decline in North Korea

When one North Korean woman told her father she wanted to study Japanese, he said she would have a brighter future if she pursued English. The woman went ahead and studied Japanese at a university, and landed a job in Pyongyang that requires the language. ...

National Feb 20, 2006

Beijing to gauge next prime minister by Yasukuni

BEIJING (Kyodo) Regardless of who will succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when he steps down in September, the Chinese will likely pay close attention to one point -- whether the new leader will visit Yasukuni Shrine. Chinese experts underscored the importance of the issue in ...

National Dec 7, 2005

China tensions spark fears of escalation

While Japan's rivalry with China in the East China Sea is currently limited to competition over underground gas, pundits are fretting a more worrying possibility -- a real conflict between the two major players. Even if the countries do not mean to start a military ...

National Oct 5, 2005

Japanese dialing up Dalian call centers

Dozens of young men and women sit in rows facing computers and talking into their headset microphones, filling the large room with a soft buzz. "Thank you for buying our product," one woman says. "Is there a problem?" asks another. The language spoken is Japanese, and ...