Stories written by Mutsuko Murakami

JAPAN: Calls Rising for Stop to Discriminatory Work Laws

A chorus of calls for changes in discriminatory work laws is spreading across Japan in the aftermath of waves of lawsuits filed by short-contract workers.

DEVELOPMENT: Japan’s Rude Awakening: Poverty Hurts

Japan may be one the world' biggest economies, but it is not immune to poverty.

Q&A: From Simple Anti-War Agenda to Expansive Peace Initiatives

Of approximately 170 peace museums that exist around the world, a third are found in Japan.

ENVIRONMENT-JAPAN: Solar Trend Catches Fire among Households

The global community may have been dismayed by the outcome of the recently concluded climate change talks in Copenhagen, but Mami Naito, 42, is not about to put off dealing with this global phenomenon in her own small way. "We very much like the idea of joining the efforts to prevent global warming," says the mother of two.

Masahiro Kawai, dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute Credit: Mutsuko Murakami/IPS

Q&A: ‘Asia Can Set Its Own Carbon Emissions Target’

As the Climate Change Conference opens today in Copenhagen, excitement— even anxiety—is steadily building over the potential outcome of one of the most awaited events of the year.

ASIA: Civil Society Steps Up Efforts Towards Alternative Economy

Amid worsening poverty, income inequality and a host of environmental hazards that are afflicting many countries, what does the world need today?

Q&A: Wanted: Economy at the Service of Mankind

The outbreak of the global financial crisis that followed the collapse of the U.S.'s major financial institutions last year sent many economies into a downward spiral. Many were also forced to rethink their economic development models.

Service-learning advocate Dr Carol Ma Hok Ka  Credit: Mutsuko Murakami/IPS

Q&A: It’s Time Students Learned Beyond the Classroom

An increasing number of universities and colleges across Asia today are running a programme called "service-learning," a teaching and learning strategy that has become synonymous with precisely what its name stands for.

RIGHTS-JAPAN: Women Talk: ‘We Want Greater Gender Equality’

"I hope to see a society where women can comfortably work and raise a family ... at the same time."

JAPAN: ‘We Need Small Government That Can Restore Economic Growth’

Many of the old guards of Japan's longtime ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) were banished from the political landscape in the aftermath of the Aug. 30 general election in Japan. Ending the LDP's long-running grip on power is opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which won a historic landslide victory.

POLITICS-JAPAN: Untested New Regime Raises Fresh Hopes

The stunning victory of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) against the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Sunday's election has left Yasuyo Takahashi, a Tokyo suburb resident, more upbeat about the prospects for change in her country.

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