Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Wednesday to restore stability to Japanese politics by winning the upper house election later this month, adding he is facing the "last chance" over the next decades to lift the Japanese economy out of its chronic deflation.
In a debate with other party leaders a day before official campaigning commences for the July 21 House of Councillors election, Abe said he will not clarify whether he will visit the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which China and South Korea see as glorifying Japan's militaristic past.
"I will address the twisted relations between the two chambers of parliament by winning the upper house election, and will secure stability in politics," Abe said during the debate organized by the Japan National Press Club, reiterating his strong desire to end the dominance of opposition parties in the chamber.
The Islamic State group released a message late Wednesday purportedly by Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, extending the deadline for Jordan's release of an Iraqi would-be hotel bomber linked to al-Qaida. (abcnews.go.com)
Japan's leading independent budget airline Skymark Airlines Inc filed for protection from creditors late on Wednesday, blaming a weak yen and a dispute with Airbus Group for its financial straits. (Reuters)
Police have arrested a 19-year-old girl on suspicion of killing a 77-year-old woman. The girl, who is a student at Nagoya University, was quoted by police as saying she wanted to kill someone and that anyone would do, NTV reported Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Last week, officers from the Yotsuya Police Station in Tokyo took Takahiro Arimoto, the 44-year-old manager of massage parlor Honey Candle and one other employee into custody for the harmful employment of minors, a violation under the Labor Standards Act. (Tokyo Reporter)
Workers have begun tearing down structures at a train station here that was devastated in the deadly tsunami of 2011, citing the danger of collapse they pose to the growing number of visitors to the site. (Asahi)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Monday took the acting chairman of the Kudo-kai organized crime group into custody for allegedly blackmailing the owner of a building, reports the Yommiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Crown Prince Naruhito met Saudi Arabia's new King Salman in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Sunday and expressed his condolences over the death of King Abdullah, who passed away on Friday. (The Japan News)
A fire drill was conducted at Horyuji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, on Monday, which was Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day. About 100 personnel participated, including temple priests and local firemen. (The Japan News)
Social media users around the world have deluged a special Facebook page calling for the safety of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, who is being held captive by the Islamic State extremist group, with selfies proclaiming "I AM KENJI." (Asahi)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday the arrest of a former organized crime member for the sale of stimulant drugs to musician Aska two years ago, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)