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。
Feb 11
The Yokohama District Court sentenced a 19-year-old youth on Wednesday to nine to 13 years in prison for murdering a 13-year-old boy in Kawasaki in February last year. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 11
The government announced Wednesday that it will impose unilateral sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on entry by North Korean ships into Japan. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 10
The nation's nuclear watchdog has put the kibosh on plans by Tokyo Electric Power Co. to start freezing underground soil at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant--a stunningly expensive project intended to solve the crisis of accumulating radioactive groundwater at the site. (Asahi)
Feb 10
An LDP lawmaker who created a stir in conservative Japan by filing for paternity leave when his child was born now stands accused of flagrant double standards over an alleged extramarital relationship with a model. (Japan Times)
Feb 10
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe was diagnosed with an early-stage stomach cancer, his agent said Tuesday, adding the actor, who starred in a Broadway musical in 2015, has already undergone endoscopic surgery to remove it. (Kyodo)
Feb 10
Police in Tosu, Saga Prefecture, have arrested the manager of a yakitori restaurant on suspicion of attempting to rob the establishment on Jan 15. (Japan Today)
Feb 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted of a bar in the 2-chome gay quarter of Shinjuku Ward for licensing violations, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 10) . (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 10
The Japanese government decided at a cabinet meeting Tuesday to withdraw its recommendation of Christianity-related historic facilities and sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Jiji Press)
Feb 10
Officers of the Metropolitan Police Department's special weapons squad subdue a "terrorist" during a counterterrorism drill at Tokyo Dome on Tuesday. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 09
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 39-year-old man for assaulting and robbing a female prostitute inside a hotel in Shibuya Ward last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 9). (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 09
Following a stabbing incident that left one woman dead and another injured, Hokkaido Prefectural Police announced on Monday that a 30-year-old man is wanted in connection with the crime, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 09
The Chinatown district of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, has begun events to celebrate the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. (NHK)
Feb 09
An armed man dressed as a woman robbed a pedestrian on a street in the city of Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, but returned some of her cash before fleeing the scene, police said. (Japan Today)
Feb 08
Police in Toda, Saitama Prefecture, have arrested a 71-year-old woman on suspicion of setting her son's room on fire. (Japan Today)
Feb 08
A Rolls-Royce Phantom, one of the most luxury cars in the world, has been put up for sale on an online auction by the National Tax Agency. (Japan Today)