Councilors snub bill on vote gap fix
Japan Times -- Jun 22
In an act of protest, the opposition-controlled House of Councilors on Friday refused to vote on a bill to rectify the unconstitutional vote-value disparity in the House of Representatives and sent it back to the lower chamber.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner New Komeito, which hold a two-thirds majority in the Lower House, pledged to pass the bill again as early as Monday.

Five days before the end of the Diet session, the standoff between the ruling and opposition camps appeared to be devolving into another round of withering "power game" politics.

Although the ruling camp had pushed to put the bill to a vote Friday, the Upper House Steering Committee, controlled by the opposition, declined to vote, claiming there wasn't enough time for deliberation.

国会は、衆議院小選挙区の「0増5減」にともなう区割り法案の扱いをめぐって、与野党­の溝が埋まらず、21日の参議院本会議での採決が見送られた。
Aug 01
A psychiatrist who examined the 16-year-old girl suspected of killing and dismembering her classmate in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, called a child consultation center in the city in June to warn that she might commit murder, but prefectural officials failed to take any action, it was learned Thursday. (Japan Times)
Aug 01
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of physically abusing his 14-year-old son who committed suicide. (Japan Today)
Aug 01
While tropical downpours bring the threat of flooding through this weekend to Japan and South Korea, the danger of a typhoon looms for next week. (accuweather.com)
Aug 01
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet agreed here Thursday to seek stronger cooperation on developing the Andean nation's abundant mineral resources. (Nikkei)
Jul 31
The average life expectancy of Japanese men topped 80 years in 2013 for the first time ever, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 01
This week the annual charity event known as the Sumo Run took place in London's Battersea Park. To raise money for education in sub-Saharan Africa, participants don inflatable sumo suits and run the 5km course around the park, no doubt delighting passersby in the country that gave us Monty Python. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 31
An independent judicial panel of citizens said Thursday it has decided that three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. merit indictment over the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. (Kyodo)
Jul 31
On Tuesday evening, commuters at Urawa Station in Saitama Prefecture were in for a bit of a shock when an abandoned piece of corrugated cardboard suddenly burst into flames. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 31
On July 16, Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Koichi Yokoyama, a former Liberal Democratic Party member of the Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly, for allegedly possessing stimulant drugs at his apartment in Yokohama last month. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 31
Osaka police said Wednesday they failed to report roughly 81,000 criminal cases to the National Police Agency between 2008 and 2012, or nearly 10 percent of the total reported by the prefectural police force during the five-year period. (Kyodo)
Jul 31
Japan's smoking rate in 2014 fell below 20 pct for the first time since such statistics began in 1965, Japan Tobacco Inc. said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 31
Police in Japan say that a 16-year-old girl has admitted to slaying her classmate because she "wanted to kill someone" and "dissect" the body, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News. (huffingtonpost.com)
Jul 31
Golden-gai, a warren of tiny bars near Shinjuku's Kabukicho entertainment district, has long been a refuge for writers, musicians, filmmakers and other artistic types, who congregate at drinking establishments with like-minded patrons. (Japan Times)
Jul 31
Some 30 minutes by car from JR Takamatsu Station in Kagawa Prefecture, a lonely site on the side of a mountain is where abandoned tombstones go to their final resting place. (Asahi)
Jul 31
A former nursing home employee has been sentenced to eight years in prison for fatally assaulting a female resident at the facility in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture. (Japan Today)