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.
Tokyo prosecutors are searching the house of a former aide to Lower House member Yuko Obuchi over the recent political funds scandal. The scandal drove Obuchi from her post as Economy, Trade and Industry Minister. (NHK)
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said Wednesday he had a "nice meeting" with Chinese President Xi Jinping, less than two weeks ahead of a gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in Beijing where there is a window of opportunity for the two countries to thaw icy relations. (Kyodo)
Japan came in 104th in the World Economic Forum's gender equality rankings for 2014, up from 105th the previous year but still far behind other major industrialized nations, the Geneva-based group said Tuesday. (The Japan News)
In spite of a recent fall in organized crime membership, Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Monday released a manga comic to discourage participation in yakuza gangs, reports the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (Oct. 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
Monday marks exactly one month since Japan experienced its deadliest volcanic eruption in decades. The eruption of Mount Ontake in the central part of the country killed 57 people. 6 others are still listed as missing. (NHK)