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 28
A 15-year-old Japanese schoolgirl is being held in police custody after she admitted murdering her classmate and dismembering her body. (sky.com)
Jul 28
Police in Tokyo said Sunday they have arrested the father of TV "talent" and model Rola for allegedly defrauding Japan's national health insurance system. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
Grand champion Hakuho defeated his Mongolian compatriot, Harumafuji, on Sunday to win his 30th career title at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, edging closer to the all-time championship record in Japan's ancient sport. (AP)
Jul 27
The city government of Satsumasendai and Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday provided residents near the Sendai nuclear power station with iodine preparations in case of an accident at the plant owned by Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508>. (Jiji Press)
Jul 27
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up a two-day visit to Mexico Saturday, taking a break from sealing energy deals to tour pyramids with President Enrique Pena Nieto. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)
Jul 28
Residents have taken part in a horse festival that boasts a history of over 1,000 years in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 27
The Metropolitan Police Department on Friday launched a special team to deal with stalking, domestic violence and child and elder abuse. (The Japan News)
Jul 27
Police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old man who tried to get a 9-year-old girl into his car. (Japan Today)
Jul 26
South Korea's War Museum has retracted its decision to cancel an exhibition of the popular Japanese manga "One Piece" after a court ordered that the event should go ahead. (NHK)
Jul 26
Police in Osaka said Friday that a reckless driving incident involving five vehicles left three people injured. (Japan Today)
Jul 25
Chinese authorities executed on Friday a Japanese man who had been sentenced to death in connection with stimulant drug smuggling, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said. (Nikkei)
Jul 25
Police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, are looking for a man who reportedly tried to get a 9-year-old girl into his car on Friday morning. (Japan Today)
Jul 25
Embattled researcher Haruko Obokata was injured Wednesday while being hounded by NHK reporters on her way home from the state-affiliated Riken institute, her lawyer said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jul 25
A male health care worker working at a nursing home for elderly people in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward has been arrested for repeatedly beating an elderly woman resident. (Japan Today)