Tokyo voters appeared to give their support to the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, with his party winning a landslide victory in local elections in the capital.
Voting for the 127-seat Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly was widely being seen as an indicator of public opinion in the run up to national upper house polls expected on July 21.
And results from public broadcaster NHK and other media outlets showed Abe's Liberal Democratic Party was set to win 59 seats alone, or 82 with the help of its centrist government ally the New Komeito party.
"We thank the voters. I want this victory to carry on to the next elections," LDP secretary general Shigeru Ishiba said on television.
Turnout in the city of 13 million was low, at 43.42 percent, down more than 11 percentage points compared to the previous election in 2009.
Abe said he regretted the low turnout and while welcoming the victory he said "many people have not yet felt the effects of our policies on the economic situation".
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, became on Tuesday the nation's first municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing it to issue certificates recognizing same-sex relationships as being "equivalent to marriage." (Japan Times)
In the wake of the suspicious crash of a Germanwings jet, the transport ministry is moving quickly to require all Japanese airlines to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times during flights. (Asahi)
The Japanese government said Monday it will send up to 142,600 personnel in emergency teams within 72 hours to 10 prefectures that are expected to suffer tremendous damage in the event of a major earthquake at the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast. (Jiji Press)
A third-party committee investigating the deaths of 11 patients who received laparoscopic surgery at the Chiba Cancer Center said Monday that at least seven patients received treatment without prior ethical screening despite the extremely difficult nature of the operations, which were not covered by public health insurance. (The Japan News)
An elementary school teacher in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, has been arrested after it was discovered that he had lied to a newspaper reporter regarding the presence of a foreign substance in a rice ball ("onigiri") lunch that he purchased at a convenience store. (Japan Today)
In the first application in Tokyo of a law that seeks to restrict the distribution of sexually explicit content for revenge purposes, police on Friday announced the arrest of a 50-year-old male for releasing illicit images of his former girlfriend, reports the Sankei Shimbun (March 27). (Tokyo Reporter)