Natsuko Fukue

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

Jun 4, 2012

Noda to tweak Cabinet to win tax hike votes

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Sunday he will reshuffle his Cabinet in a bid to win opposition support for his administration's unpopular tax hike bill. Although Noda refused to give any specifics on the shakeup, expected Monday, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and land minister Takeshi ...

May 31, 2012

Noda fails to win over Ozawa on tax hike

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, head of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, failed Wednesday during a meeting lasting 90 minutes to persuade former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa to back the administration's tax hike proposal. Noda wanted Ozawa, whose group is the biggest in the DPJ, ...

May 25, 2012

Group seeks Web-based campaigning

An Internet campaign directed at young voters played a significant role in Barack Obama's election in 2008 as president of the United States. But unlike other developed countries, Japanese law forbids candidates from using the Internet during election campaigns, whether it's updating their websites or ...

Ozawa faces appeal over his acquittal

May 10, 2012

Ozawa faces appeal over his acquittal

Prosecutors on Wednesday appealed a lower court ruling acquitting former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa of conspiring with his former aides to falsify financial reports for his political funds management body, Rikuzankai, in 2004 and 2005. "The lower court ruling contains factual errors. ...

DPJ reinstates Noda tax foe Ozawa

May 9, 2012

DPJ reinstates Noda tax foe Ozawa

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan reinstated the party membership of Ichiro Ozawa on Tuesday, a move that intensifies the power struggle over a proposed tax hike the DPJ heavyweight opposes and opens the door for him to run in the party presidential election ...

May 8, 2012

Low autopsy rate seen abetting murderers

Kanae Kijima, recently sentenced to hang for killing three boyfriends, may have been arrested before the second and third murders if police had conducted an autopsy on the first victim, Takao Terada, who was found dead in his Tokyo home in 2009. Police deemed his ...

Apr 28, 2012

Eased postal reforms, Diet pay cuts passed

The Diet passed a bill Friday to amend the Postal Privatization Law and water down the postal reforms championed in the early 2000s by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and a bill to trim national lawmakers' salaries for two years. The two bills were approved ...

Censure motions passed on ministers

Apr 21, 2012

Censure motions passed on ministers

The Upper House passed nonbinding censure motions Friday against Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda, delivering a double blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration. The motions were submitted Wednesday by the Liberal Democratic Party and two smaller ...

LDP readies two censure motions

Apr 18, 2012

LDP readies two censure motions

It looks like Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan are in for a rough ride in the current Diet session. The Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it is ready to submit censure motions against two Cabinet ministers. LDP Secretary General ...

Apr 13, 2012

Lawmakers give nod to weakened postal bill

A government-sponsored bill that waters down the postal privatization reforms pushed through by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi cleared the Lower House on Thursday, which may allow the government to retain control of the banking, mail and insurance juggernaut for years to come. The bill, ...