Yumi's RSS feed

Yumi Wijers-Hasegawa

For Yumi Wijers-Hasegawa's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jun 27, 2006

Successor inherits ever-unpopular deficit mess

Most banks have shed their burden of bad loans. The Nikkei 225 average has recovered from rock bottom and the economy is finally picking up. But what about Japan's debt-ridden finances? With only three months to go before Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi leaves office, his ...

Jun 22, 2006

Ban on U.S. beef to end after meatpacker checks

Japan agreed Wednesday to lift its ban on U.S. beef imports after on-site inspections of U.S. meatpackers by Japanese experts starting early next week, Japanese officials said. Tokyo's first group of experts is expected leave Japan Saturday to start checking some of the 35 U.S. ...

Jun 21, 2006

Japan set to lift U.S. beef ban

Despite lingering concern over the safety of U.S. beef, Japan continued final talks with Washington past midnight Tuesday on lifting the import ban, after winning a slew of concessions on inspection procedures for mad cow disease. "I believe we will go to the next step" ...

Indoor play centers pricey but safe havens for kids

Jun 17, 2006

Indoor play centers pricey but safe havens for kids

Parents often want their kids to play indoors because of bad weather, the threat of sunburn or other environmental factors, and increasingly, because of the fear of crime. Such concerns are fostering a booming cottage industry of indoor play centers. Shiho Fukube, 31, takes her 21-month-old ...

Consumers still cold to U.S. beef

Jun 16, 2006

Consumers still cold to U.S. beef

Consumers are far from convinced that U.S. beef is safe, despite government efforts to ease public concerns through 10 nationwide public hearings on the issue. The 10 hearings have been held since the beginning of June. The last one wrapped up Wednesday in Tokyo. But the ...

May 30, 2006

World Bank chief Wolfowitz urges African trade, investment

World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz said Monday in Tokyo that Japan should play a larger role in promoting trade and investment in Africa, saying they were "more critical" to the continent than development aid. "You may ask why should an economic superpower like Japan ...

New Keidanren chief urges Asia diplomatic thaw

May 25, 2006

New Keidanren chief urges Asia diplomatic thaw

The new chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) has urged the government to swiftly resolve the nation's conflict with its Asian neighbors over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine. Canon Inc. Chairman Fujio Mitarai, 70, who took the helm of ...

Importer's rare tortoises a labor of love

May 23, 2006

Importer's rare tortoises a labor of love

Before he heads off to work, Masakazu Utsunomiya has a unique daily ritual of tender loving care -- he bathes and feeds the rare Burmese starred tortoises he keeps in his modest Tokyo apartment and ensures their tanks' temperature is just right. Utsunomiya, 29, imports ...

May 20, 2006

Beef safety audit passes muster

The U.S. has resolved most of Japan's concerns about U.S. beef processors, Japanese government officials said Friday, clearing the way for Japan to lift its import ban on U.S. beef. Although no date has been set, government sources said lifting of the ban could take ...

May 19, 2006

Publishers find silver lining in coloring books for the elderly

For many people, coloring conjures up fond memories of childhood -- books scattered across the table, engrossed in one's work, clutching crayons until one's hands ached. Seeking to capitalize on a bit of nostalgia, publishers have come out with coloring books for grownups, especially the ...