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。
Aug 29
The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday showed the original design of Kenjiro Sano's Olympic and Paralympic Games logo embroiled in a plagiarism dispute, backing the Japanese designer's claim that he did not copy a Belgian theater logo. (Kyodo)
Aug 28
The Diet passed a bill Friday aiming to promote the role of women in the workplace, along with greater female participation in the economy at a time when the country's population is expected to shrink further. (Japan Times)
Aug 28
Japanese police fear a bloody gang war could erupt following the breakup of the Yamaguchi-gumi, the nation's largest organized crime syndicate. (Asahi)
Aug 28
Japan criticized China's official Xinhua News Agency on Friday for having demanded an apology from Emperor Akihito over Japan's wartime acts, saying such a claim was "extremely discourteous to His Majesty the Emperor." (Kyodo)
Aug 28
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to be reelected president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party as early as Sept. 8, as no one apparently plans to challenge him, it was learned Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 28
Japan's Empress Michiko has enjoyed playing the piano to the singing voice of a prominent foreign soprano. (NHK)
Aug 28
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of 25-year-old woman inside her apartment in Nakano Ward, reports Fuji News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)
Aug 27
Three men and two woman were killed after the minivan they were traveling in flipped over and slammed into the railing of a bridge in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, early Thursday. (Japan Today)
Aug 27
A bogus smartphone tip spreading through tweets is causing a headache for the National Police Agency as users have been tricked into dialing the emergency number 110 in at least 22 prefectures. (Japan Times)
Aug 27
As a part of an investigation into a car accident earlier this year in Utsunomiya City, an organized crime boss has been arrested for a firearms violation, reports Fuji News Network (Tokyo Reporter)
Aug 27
An American man arrested earlier this month in connection with the death of a Japanese woman whose body was found off the coast of Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, is expected to face another arrest warrant shortly, this time for killing the woman, an investigative source said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 27
Koji Yamada, the 45-year-old man who was arrested in Osaka Prefecture last week for abandoning a girl's body, was questioned by police in Tokyo before committing the alleged crime, it was learned on Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 26
Police raided the headquarters of Japan's largest yakuza syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi on Tuesday after 14 workers at a waste disposal plant in Kobe, western Japan, became sick after treating waste from the building early this month. (Japan Times)
Aug 26
Toyama Prefectural Police on Tuesday arrested a 56-year-old woman for allegedly dumping the body of her father outside their home in Takaoka City. Investigators are now working to apply murder charges, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Aug 26
Soggy bread is the pits. A great sandwich is equal parts texture and taste, so there's no greater let-down when your bread feels like a freshly opened bucket of tile grout. (rocketnews24.com)