Tomoko Otake, The Japan Times

Tomoko Otake

The Japan Times

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Recent articles by Tomoko:

COVID-19 shots should remain free to residents, health ministry experts say

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the decision to downgrade the classification of COVID-19 on Friday. → Read More

Japan's government starts talks on 'unprecedented' steps to reverse birthrate decline

Kishida is expected to announce his resolve to roll out significant child care measures next week in a speech to be delivered at the beginning of a new parliamentary session. → Read More

Abe assassination suspect Tetsuya Yamagami indicted over shooting

Prosecutors have judged Yamagami fit to stand trial after a psychiatric evaluation process required to establish his criminal responsibility. → Read More

Record COVID deaths complicate debate on Japan’s post-pandemic policy

Medical experts are calling for a “gradual” approach as the government eyes a possible downgrade of COVID-19's classification as early as this spring. → Read More

Japan study points to high probability of twin earthquakes in Nankai Trough

Running 900 km from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture to the southern coast of Shikoku, the Nankai Trough has been the source of many devastating earthquakes. → Read More

Indictment draws near for Abe assassination suspect

Tetsuya Yamagami is currently in detention and undergoing psychiatric evaluation, but the period for that process is set to expire soon. → Read More

Japan to tighten borders for travelers from China on Dec. 30

All travelers from China as well as those who have been to China within the previous seven days will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Japan. → Read More

Tokyo's solar panel mandate a major shift in a country where fossil fuels reign

The capital is moving to break away from a longtime reliance on other regions — and planet-warming fossil fuels — to meet its massive energy demand. → Read More

Despite unclear effectiveness, kanpō in short supply amid COVID wave

The widespread use and availability of kanpō in Japan has given some people hope that it may work as a viable treatment for the viral disease. → Read More

From Kyoto Protocol to ‘fossil’ awards: Japan’s climate image stained by inaction

A quarter century after Japan hosted the COP3 climate talks where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, the country’s record at the national level is a study in contrasts. → Read More

Facing stigma, people with diabetes seek change of disease's Japanese name

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 people who have diabetes, many feel "uncomfortable" or "troubled" by the disease's current name. → Read More

Recent flu outbreaks in Japan raise alarm over possible 'twindemic'

Though still small in scale, flu outbreaks have started hitting elementary and junior high schools. → Read More

Japan's eighth COVID wave expected to be biggest since pandemic began

Unlike during past surges of the virus, infections this time around are being driven by areas that didn’t experience a huge spike during the seventh wave. → Read More

Japan has no plans to impose restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise

After a lull in infections, numbers have rebounded again, with the nationwide daily tally reaching 87,410 on Wednesday. → Read More

Expert panel approves criteria for probe into religious groups

The conditions put forward by the panel will also serve as a basis for future cases where similar instances of wrongdoing are suspected by religious groups. → Read More

Japan has learned from its own deadly crowd crushes, but risks remain

Authorities significantly stepped up crowd control measures in the wake of a deadly pedestrian crush in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, in 2001. → Read More

What did Japan learn from its largest and deadliest COVID wave?

While the surge of infections — fueled by the BA.5 subvariant of the omicron variant — has subsided, some important questions remain unanswered. → Read More

Japan residents wake up to rare J-Alert missile warning

Under the J-system, developed in 2007, messages are sent in times of national emergencies such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks and certain missile launches. → Read More

Kowa says ivermectin not effective in treating COVID-19

The Nagoya-based company announced the results of its clinical trial, indicating it would no longer seek the drug's approval for COVID-19 treatment. → Read More

Japan study shows how to put a crying baby to bed

According to a new study, there may be a science-based technique to prevent the never-ending sleep routine: walking. → Read More