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。
Jul 01
Toyota Motor Corporation says its first female executive, Julie Hamp, has resigned. She was arrested last month in Japan on suspicion of drug smuggling. (NHK)
Jul 01
Land prices in Japan for this year fell 0.4 pct on average from the previous year, dropping for the seventh straight year but at a slower pace than the previous year's 0.7 pct, the government said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 01
A two-month government campaign got under way on Wednesday prompting central government employees to begin work early and leave on time. (Kyodo)
Jul 01
The weather agency raised its alert level for Mt. Hakone on Tuesday following an eruption earlier in the day at the volcano located in a hot spring resort area southwest of Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Jun 30
Two passengers on a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train have died after one of them doused himself in oil and set himself ablaze, local media is reporting. (abc.net.au)
Jul 01
Shortly after a Shinkansen left Tokyo bound for Osaka at 11 a.m. on June 30, a passenger in the train's No. 1 car became suspicious about a man who was behaving erratically. (Asahi)
Jul 01
Each year, the four-day Mitama Matsuri, a festival held on the grounds of the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, attracts approximately 300,000 revelers. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jun 30
Two boys aged 3 and 4 were hit by a train in Showacho, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Monday afternoon. (Japan Today)
Jun 30
Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko marked their 25th wedding anniversary on Monday, expressing appreciation to each other in a statement. (The Japan News)
Jun 30
An intensive investigation involving about 50 police officers has revealed the culprit in the vandalism of about 40 cars in the Higashi-Izumo area of Matsue this spring. Crows. (The Japan News)
Jun 29
Police have arrested a 20-year-old university student who drove his motorbike into a pedestrian mall on Sunday, running over a young boy. (Japan Today)
Jun 29
Tokyo Metropolitan Police last week confirmed that a body discovered buried in a cemetery in Kanagawa Prefecture is that of a 25-year-old woman who went missing two years ago. Police are now attempting to locate her son, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jun 29
A funeral service was held at a railway station in Wakayama Prefecture for the late feline stationmaster known as Tama. (NHK)
Jun 28
Japan's traditional kendama ball-and-cup toy has been reborn as a new sport and is attracting attention around the world. Professional players demonstrate their highly sophisticated techniques on Internet video sites, and a world championship event was held last year featuring the first monetary prizes to be awarded for kendama in Japan. (The Japan News)
Jun 28
A 55-year-old man was in a coma on Saturday after he was hit in the eye by an umbrella during an argument with a work colleague in front of Tokyo station. (Japan Today)