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。
May 01
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed Tokyo's concerns over the situations in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during their meeting in Beijing on Saturday. (Jiji Press)
Apr 30
In the latest development in the gambling scandal involving Yomiuri Giants players, the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday arrested restaurateur Satoshi Saito, 38, on suspicion of running gambling operations for the purpose of gain and former Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara, 25, on suspicion of assisting the operations. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
West Japan Railway Co. opened the nation's largest railway museum to the public in Kyoto on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
HAMBURG, Germany -- A giant cruise liner constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries opened its doors here Friday ahead of its entry into regular service. (Nikkei)
Apr 30
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 4.5 rocked southwestern Japan on Friday afternoon, registering upper 5 on the seismic intensity scale of 7 in Yufu, Oita Prefecture. (Jiji Press)
May 01
Police in Chofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 47-year-old part-time worker on suspicion of assaulting a 13-year-old girl as she walked home in February. (Japan Today)
May 01
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 01
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)
May 01
Kanagawa Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a murder-suicide in an apartment in Kawasaki City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
Apr 30
This year's spring decorations will recognize 4,024 Japanese and 90 foreigners for their achievements in business, culture and the arts, the government said Friday. (Japan Today)
Apr 29
Police in Chiba City have charged a 29-year-old man over the murder of a 41-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment on April 4. (Japan Today)
Apr 28
Police in Denenchofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of violating the animal cruelty law after he killed at least 10 stray cats. (Japan Today)
Apr 28
Dignitaries and celebrities joined Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for the annual spring party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo on Wednesday. (NHK)
Apr 28
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday raided the headquarters of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi over the alleged handling of illegal drugs, reports TV Asahi (April 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
Apr 27
A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court. (Japan Today)