Official campaigning begins in Japan for Upper House races
Japan Times -- Jul 04
Official campaigning got under way Thursday for the Upper House election later this month in a key test of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's leadership over the past seven months.

Abe has set the goal of wresting control of the chamber from the opposition parties in the July 21 election and solidifying the Liberal Democratic Party's power base so he can achieve his key policy objectives, including firing all three of his economic policy "arrows" and rewriting the pacifist Constitution.

The opposition camp is struggling to erode Abe's relatively high support rate, which he has enjoyed since the LDP trounced the Democratic Party of Japan in the December general election and returned to power.

Half of the 242 seats in the Upper House are up for grabs every three years under a combination of districts and proportional representation. About 430 candidates are expected to vie for the 121 seats at stake.

昨年12月の第2次安倍内閣発足後、初の大型国政選挙となる第23回参院選が4日午前­、公示され、自民党の安倍晋三総裁は福島市で第一声を上げた。21日投開票。
Oct 31
The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Friday tentatively removed part of the cover shrouding the No.1 reactor building installed in the wake of the 2011 disaster to keep radioactive materials from dispersing. (Kyodo)
Oct 31
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 39-year-old member of the Air Self-Defense Force on a charge of attempted murder after he pushed a man onto the train tracks at JR Okubo Station in Shinjuku Ward. (Japan Today)
Oct 31
The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday reopened all of Yoyogi Park, 57 days after dengue-carrying mosquitoes were found there. (Japan Today)
Oct 31
The Japanese government has drafted a new space development policy that will enhance its ability to provide security. The plan includes increasing the number of intelligence-gathering satellites. (NHK)
Oct 31
A 63-year-old man who died in Waikiki Saturday has been identified as a deputy mayor from Japan. (khon2.com)
Oct 31
Until only recently, Japan never celebrated Halloween. And why would it? The nation honors the spirits of its ancestors in August, during the ancient Buddhist festival of O-bon, when ancestral spirits are said to revisit the family altars -and when reported encounters with ghosts and spirits reach a fevered peak. (marketwatch.com)
Oct 31
A 41-year-old man, who was arrested in August for abusing his 14-year-old stepson, has also been charged with coercing the boy to commit suicide. (Japan Today)
Oct 30
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the bust of a risque bar in Machida City for licensing violations, reports Jiji Press (Oct. 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 30
Police in Komae City, Tokyo, on Thursday questioned the owner of a beauty salon over the murder of the salon manager whose body was found on the premises. (Japan Today)
Oct 30
A 25-year-old man who works as a host at a club in Tokyo's Kabukicho district has been arrested for trying to extort 3 million yen from his girlfriend by threatening her. (Japan Today)
Oct 30
Japan's Crown Princess Masako attended a banquet for visiting Dutch royals on Wednesday in her first such appearance since developing a stress-related illness more than a decade ago. (abcnews.go.com)
Oct 30
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)
Oct 29
Japan's Crown Princess Masako on Wednesday is attending a banquet at the Imperial Palace for the first time in 11 years. (NHK)
Oct 29
Three types of Japanese-style paper, or "washi," are to be added to UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage. (NHK)
Oct 28
Parts of Hokkaido experienced the first snowfall of the season on Tuesday morning. (Japan Today)