'Captain Ozawa' kicks off campaign
Japan's "shadow shogun" is trying to reinvent himself once again, this time as the people's last line of defense against Abenomics.

In a political advert for the upper house election later this month, the latest incarnation of Ichiro Ozawa dons a goalkeeper's shirt and gloves as he literally kicks off his campaign with fire in his eyes and a laser-intense look of resolve.

The eye-catching TV ad, titled "Fiery Saves by 'Captain Ichiro Ozawa,'" shows the 71-year-old saving the nation from employment uncertainty, a trans-Pacific trade deal and an increase in the sales tax.

Shooting at him from the prime position of the penalty spot is a dark-uniformed striker wearing a No. 96 shirt-a likely reference to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's desire to revise Article 96 of Japan's pacifist constitution. Mr. Abe is aiming to lower the parliamentary majority needed for revising the basic law, another objective opposed by Mr. Ozawa.

Indeed, viewers could be forgiven for thinking the policy agenda of the People's Life Party is largely negative in formation, since "Captain Ozawa" is essentially appealing to the public that he will just block the policy goals of the current administration.

Still, Mr. Ozawa's campaign ad is certainly a lot more fun than a much more conservative offering by Mr. Abe, in which he can be seen from behind confidently marching onward and upward as he seeks to reestablish Japan.

Jul 07
Sakari Momoi, who was recognized as the world's oldest man and credited healthy eating and getting plenty of sleep for his longevity, has died at the age of 112, Japanese media said on July 7. (Asahi)
Jul 07
Japan Coast Guard officials say a volcanic island south of Tokyo has started erupting from a new crater. They say its eruption at a different crater has stopped. (NHK)
Jul 06
Police arrested a 40-year-old man Monday for allegedly setting fire to his own home in Kitsuki, Oita Prefecture, where four bodies, believed to be his children, were found amid the burned wreckage. (Japan Times)
Jul 06
Police officers entered Japan's parliament building for the first time since 1960 for a joint anti-terrorism drill with security officials of the Diet's two chambers on July 5. (Asahi)
Jul 06
A UNESCO panel has decided to grant World Heritage status to a group of Japanese industrial sites. (NHK)
Jul 07
Evacuees from a southwestern Japanese island hit by a volcanic eruption made a brief return to their homes on Tuesday ahead of an approaching typhoon. But their trip was cut short due to volcanic quakes. (NHK)
Jul 07
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday announced the arrest of the boss of an organized crime group for the alleged confinement and assault of a construction worker, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 6). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 07
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday announced the bust of a casino in Toshima Ward for permitting illegal gambling, reports TBS News (July 6). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 07
Meet Ladybaby, the Japanese musical group that will make you look twice. Featuring Ladybeard, the east's most hirsute crossdressing entertainer, this band's debut song blends infectious Japanese pop with bizarre, energetic heavy metal vocals. (forbes.com)
Jul 06
Despite health concerns, Crown Princess Masako unexpectedly joined Crown Prince Naruhito for a hastily arranged meeting with Japanese residents of Tonga on Sunday. (Japan Times)
Jul 06
A 26-year-old man was arrested Sunday for allegedly confining in his car an 11-year-old schoolgirl who went missing the day before in Nara Prefecture while shopping with her family, police said. (Kyodo)
Jul 05
A drug control division of the health ministry on Saturday announced the arrest of a former executive of public broadcaster NHK for the importation of so-called "dangerous drugs," reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 4). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 05
rown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, who are visiting Tonga, attended the coronation of King Tupou VI of Tonga held at a church in its capital, Nukualofa, on Saturday. This is the first time in two years that Crown Princess Masako has engaged in official duties overseas. (The Japan News)
Jul 05
Nearly 40 percent of single people in their 20s and 30s do not want a romantic partner, according to a survey by the Cabinet Office released in June. The survey was included in a government white paper on Japan's notoriously low birthrate that also found 46.2 percent of singles claiming that relationships were "bothersome." (Japan Times)
Jul 05
She is a Hafu. Hafu is a term used in Japanese language to refer to somebody who is biracial. Despite being a Hafu, model Rola has become the top fashion icon in Japan. (prothom-alo.com)