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.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the Japanese government will consider stopping financial contributions to UNESCO or reducing the amount, given the U.N. body's decision to add Chinese documents on the Nanjing Massacre to the "Memory of the World" program. (Kyodo)
Mount Fuji has been capped with the snow for the first time this season. Weather officials say the iconic mountain was capped with snow 5 days earlier than last year but 11 days later than usual. (NHK)
Police in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, said Tuesday they have arrested a 23-year-old man over the death of a 57-year-old man who was found bleeding from a head injury on a street early Sunday morning. (Japan Today)