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。
Sep 22
Tropical storm Fung-wong is moving northward over waters east of Taiwan and is set to approach the Japanese island prefecture of Okinawa early Monday. (NHK)
Sep 22
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wants to continue constructive dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and study the possibility of his visit to Japan. (NHK)
Sep 22
Two of Japan's small opposition parties merged and launched a new political party Sunday, the country's third largest, in a bid to stir political realignment. (Kyodo)
Sep 21
Finance chiefs of the Group of 20 industrial and developing economies agreed Sunday to take additional measures to ensure meeting their commitment to a growth target amid increasing risks. (Kyodo)
Sep 21
The identities of 35 dementia sufferers were unknown in 26 municipalities across the nation at the end of May, according to the government's first nationwide survey of such persons. (The Japan News)
Sep 22
Japanese parents watched with glee on Sunday as sumo wrestlers tried to reduce their babies to tears, in a centuries-old ritual believed to bring good health to bawling infants. (Japan Today)
Sep 22
The organizers of the coming ninth Rome Film Festival said Saturday that they will give the Maverick Director Award, a special prize, to Japanese director Takashi Miike. (Japan Times)
Sep 21
Two vending machines were torched and the money taken from them in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward on Saturday morning, bringing to 19 the number of vending machines which have been destroyed by fire in the area since Sept 15. (Japan Today)
Sep 20
Police in Tokyo said Friday they are looking for a man who sprayed a 17-year-old girl with a liquid resembling paint thinner as she walked home on Wednesday night-the third such incident to occur in the area since last month. (Japan Today)
Sep 19
A computer programmer has admitted to killing dozens of cats in Tokyo's Ota Ward, saying he had become enraged by all the strays that had gathered in the neighborhood, police said Sept. 18. (Asahi)
Sep 19
A Tokyo man who was so stoned that he fell off his bike became the first bicyclist in Japan arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of "dappo" (law-evading) drugs, police said. (Asahi)
Sep 19
Police in Saitama said Thursday they have arrested a 41-year-old man for fatally stabbing his 39-year-old wife. (Japan Today)
Sep 18
A 61-year-old truck driver has been arrested after he hit a group of elementary school children in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, killing one 9-year-old girl and injuring two other children, aged 8 and 9. (Japan Today)
Sep 18
White smoke rose from under Tokyo Station's No. 22 platform Wednesday morning, suspending Shinkansen bullet train services. (The Japan News)
Sep 17
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday arrested an organized crime member in the bust of a business in Shinjuku Ward that sold illegal pornographic DVDs, reports AV Asahi (Sept. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)