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".
A record high 13.5 percent of existing housing units in Japan were vacant as of last Oct. 1, up 0.4 percentage point from five years earlier when the survey was last conducted, the government said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) apologized Tuesday for a recent scandal over chicken meat provided by a Chinese producer, promising to do "whatever it takes" to ensure the safety of food on its menu. (Kyodo)
Coverage of Hyogo prefectural assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura's July 1 televised tantrum is finally winding down in the mainstream media. But on the Internet, where a YouTube video of his press conference registered over 2 million views in just two days, it's still going strong. (Japan Today)
During her first court hearing at the Tokyo District Court last week, Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at staffing agency Pasona who has been charged with possession and use of stimulant drugs, came up with a few creative explanations for how she could have tested positive for illegal chemicals in her system. (Tokyo Reporter)
A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Eleven people died, one person remains unconscious and two are missing after water-related accidents across Japan over the weekend, police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)