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。
Jan 25
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants "outrageous" and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding. (Reuters)
Jan 25
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday it is highly likely that an image purporting to show that one of the two Japanese hostages being held by a group believed to be Islamic State has been killed is authentic. (Kyodo)
Jan 25
Amazon Japan is "fully cooperating" with a police investigation into possible sales of child pornography, the local unit of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)
Jan 25
With his record-setting 33rd Emperor's Cup already in the bag, yokozuna Hakuho added a perfect 15-0 finish to his accomplishments on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 25. (Asahi)
Jan 24
KFC in Japan has stopped selling fries, as industrial disputes that have crimped potato exports from the U.S. took another bite out of the country's fast food market. (Japan Today)
Jan 25
Police in Chiba said Saturday they have arrested a 57-year-old man on suspicion of poking a needle into bread at a convenience store on Jan 14. (Japan Today)
Jan 24
Police in Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture, said Friday they have arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of killing his 73-year-old grandfather with whom he lived. (Japan Today)
Jan 24
The Public Security Examination Commission decided Friday to extend the surveillance period for two groups deriving from the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult for three more years. (Jiji Press)
Jan 24
A former senior Aum Supreme Truth cult member on death row testified about how the cult's leader ordered his followers to commit a series of deadly crimes, at the trial of a fellow former member at the Tokyo District Court on Friday. (The Japan News)
Jan 23
Police investigating the murder of a 64-year-old woman in Tokyo's Suginami Ward said Friday that her 38-year-old son apparently committed suicide in the mountains near Okutamamachi. (Japan Today)
Jan 23
A 7-year-old boy died after being buried in snow in Shinanomachi, Nagano Prefecture, police said Friday. (Japan Today)
Jan 22
Police in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested a 33-year-old woman on suspicion of attempting to kill her 8-year-old son. (Japan Today)
Jan 22
The former AKB48 idol Anna Mori is crowdfunding her first photobook after recently turning 20 years old (the "age of majority" in Japan, similar to turning 18 in the U.S.) and quickly raised 2,000,000 yen (about US$16,957) with a little help from some unique backer rewards. Mori offered threedates for backers who paid 200,000 yen (US$1,695). (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 22
A former senior Aum Supreme Truth cult member on death row claimed responsibility for a fellow former member's involvement in a series of Aum-committed deadly crimes, in a trial at Tokyo District Court on Wednesday. (The Japan News)
Jan 22
The government has finalized details for tougher penalties for "dangerous" bicycle riding, which includes using smartphones while on a bike. (Japan Today)