Natsuko Fukue

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

Noda team faces rocky Diet session

Jan 25, 2012

Noda team faces rocky Diet session

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says his partially reshuffled Cabinet is the best lineup ever, but it will need to be to face the turbulence expected in the Diet session that started Tuesday. Noda's most challenging task will be the push by his Democratic Party of ...

LDP chief pursues snap election at party rally

Jan 23, 2012

LDP chief pursues snap election at party rally

Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki pledged Sunday to force the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to dissolve the Lower House as early as possible so a snap election can be held to return the conservative party to power. "It'll be a final political battle ...

Jan 17, 2012

Noda to DPJ: Focus Diet on reforms

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called for support from his Democratic Party of Japan colleagues Monday to back his planned reform of the social security and tax systems and urged unity to weather what looks to be a stormy Diet session starting in a week. "Without ...

Jan 14, 2012

Picks mirror more pragmatic tack, bid to exert leadership

With a minor but crucial reshuffle Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepared to tackle his most important and difficult task — raising taxes. Noda has high hopes for Katsuya Okada as deputy prime minister, because he is expected to have what it takes to persuade ...

New year could prove daunting for Noda

Jan 3, 2012

New year could prove daunting for Noda

In the four months since winning the Democratic Party of Japan presidential election, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has survived by taking a cautious approach to governing, managing to compile the 2012 budget and several bills to finance restoration of the disaster-hit Tohoku region. But 2012 ...

Fukushima rice in cesium limbo

| Dec 13, 2011

Fukushima rice in cesium limbo

Autumn is high season for freshly harvested "shinmai," the new rice marketed as a seasonal favorite in Fukushima Prefecture. But the farmers there fear their fare will go unsold because harvests around three cities have turned up excessive levels of radioactive cesium, prompting shipment ...

Dec 10, 2011

Ichikawa, Yamaoka censured in Diet

The Upper House passed nonbinding censure motions Friday against Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and consumers affairs minister Kenji Yamaoka, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration on the last day of the extraordinary Diet session. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, the ...

Nov 30, 2011

High cesium level found in Date rice

The government on Tuesday ordered a ban on the shipment of rice harvested in two more districts in Fukushima Prefecture after tests detected dangerously high levels of radioactive cesium. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the central government has instructed Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato to ...

Nov 25, 2011

Noda seeks to appease party foes to TPP talks

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting Thursday with lawmakers from his Democratic Party of Japan in an effort to ease their opposition to Japan taking part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. It was the first time Noda met with DPJ Diet members since returning ...