Natsuko Fukue

For Natsuko Fukue's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Aug 8, 2012

LDP pulls threat, will vote on bill for tax hike

In an apparent about-face Tuesday, the Liberal Democratic Party agreed to vote in favor of the contentious tax hike and social security legislation in the Upper House on Wednesday. But at the same time, the conservative party threatened to up the pressure on Prime Minister ...

Aug 7, 2012

LDP chief holds tax bill hostage to election

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda needs to give assurances that he will dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election before the Liberal Democratic Party votes for his social security and tax reform bills in the Upper House, the leader of the top opposition ...

Kids' safety key worry in Fukushima

Aug 3, 2012

Kids' safety key worry in Fukushima

A year and half after the start of the nuclear crisis, many who attended the government's latest public hearing on energy policy in Fukushima on Wednesday still expressed concern about the impact of radiation on their children. "I'm really terrified," said a city resident who ...

Aug 2, 2012

Fukushima residents rip nuke power

Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, speaking Wednesday at a government-sponsored public hearing on national energy policy, called for an end to dependence on nuclear energy by 2030. The event in the prefecture that hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the latest in a ...

Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split

Jun 29, 2012

Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split

Hoping to head off a possible breakaway from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi met Thursday with Ichiro Ozawa, appealing to the party kingpin to stand behind Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and shore up unity. Ozawa had threatened to leave ...

Jun 28, 2012

LDP ups ante as Noda weighs Ozawa's fate

After more than 70 lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan rejected or abstained from voting on the contentious bill to hike the sales tax, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other DPJ executives began internal discussions Wednesday on how to punish the dissenters, mainly ...

| Jun 27, 2012

More hurdles in store for Noda

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda managed to get the Lower House to pass the contentious tax hike bill, but his troubles are far from over, as demonstrated by the no votes cast by the Democratic Party of Japan's kingpin, Ichiro Ozawa, and more than 50 ...

Ozawa, allies to vote against tax hike bill

Jun 22, 2012

Ozawa, allies to vote against tax hike bill

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan said Thursday they have abandoned attempts to pass the tax hike bill Friday, but an internal rift looms as Ichiro Ozawa officially declared his intention to vote against the legislation. Also on Thursday, the ...

Jun 21, 2012

Noda officially gives in on tax, welfare reform

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Democratic Party of Japan executives officially endorsed changes to the government's social security and tax reform bills Wednesday, while signalling the Diet session will be extended, possibly to early September. Noda was forced to postpone a vote on the revised ...

| Jun 12, 2012

Dormant accounts eyed for Tohoku

The government began in February looking into ways to make good use of billions of yen in so-called dormant bank accounts, particularly to help fund reconstruction of areas in the Tohoku region devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. An interim ...