'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.

Oct 21
The resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan's industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)
Oct 21
Google Inc. has started a service that allows users to get an offshore look at the latest recovery efforts in the Tohoku region devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Asahi)
Oct 21
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto met with the head of an anti-Korean group on Monday as he considers cracking down on hate speech rallies in the western Japan city, but they ended up having a shouting match in which they more or less just insulted each other. (Kyodo)
Oct 21
Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp <4901.T> said on Monday it was expanding the production of its Avigan anti-influenza drug to reach an additional number of Ebola patients. (Reuters)
Oct 20
A Japanese court has sentenced a former college employee to 2 years in prison for using a 3D printer to make handguns. (NHK)
Oct 20
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 20
The bodies of a Japanese man and woman have been found on a popular Nepal hiking route that was engulfed by a blizzard last Wednesday. The death toll is now 39. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Empress Michiko celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday. In a statement distributed to media by the Imperial Household Agency, the empress said she hoped the world could find peace ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Tsutomu Shirosaki, a member of the now-defunct Japanese Red Army, will be deported to Japan once he is released from a U.S. prison early next year, informed sources said Thursday. (The Japan News)
Oct 17
The Nagano prefectural government's disaster response headquarters said Thursday it has decided to end its search this year for missing hikers on Mt. Ontake due to the growing risk of secondary accidents. (The Japan News)
Oct 17
A year has passed since a typhoon-triggered mudslide hit Tokyo's Izu Oshima island, killing at least 36 people, with three more yet to be found. (The Japan News)
Oct 16
Police in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested a 25-year-old man for inflicting serious injury on his 2-year-old son with an air gun. (Japan Today)
Oct 16
With an increase in sightings of venomous spiders in Tokyo, experts warn that the elderly and infants are most in danger if bitten. (Asahi)
Oct 16
A Japan Airlines flight had to return to Honolulu after a male passenger sexually assaulted a female passenger in the airplane's bathroom, the FBI said. (newsok.com)
Oct 16
A woman was found stabbed to death in her home in Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, police said Wednesday. (Japan Today)