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.
Increased seismic activity raised concern Tuesday about the possibility of another eruption at a Japanese volcano where 36 people were killed, forcing rescuers to suspend plans to try to recover at least two dozen bodies still near the summit. (seattletimes.com)
The eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan has revealed serious holes in efforts to ensure the safety of tourists and local residents near volcanoes, gaps that can be remedied only through more communication between local governments and the country's climate agency. (Nikkei)
Police in Tokyo said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old clerk at the Tokyo District Court and a 39-year-old employee of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on suspicion of molesting a woman in her 20s on the subway. (Japan Today)
The summit of Mount Fuji for the first time has been successfully photographed in far-away Kyoto Prefecture, one of 20 prefectures where, given the right conditions, the mountaintop can be viewed. (Japan Times)