'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.

Nov 27
The city of Sapporo in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido has officially announced its bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. (NHK)
Nov 27
A regional meteorological observatory says smoke from Mount Aso in Kyushu, southwestern Japan, rose about 1.5 kilometers shortly before noon on Thursday. (NHK)
Nov 27
A Japanese reporter indicted on charges of defaming South Korean President Park Geun Hye in an article about her whereabouts during April's deadly ferry disaster pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing Thursday at the Seoul Central District Court. (Kyodo)
Nov 27
Otsu District Court turned down demands Thursday from local residents to block the restart of four nuclear reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s <9503> Oi and Takahama power stations in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. (Jiji Press)
Nov 27
UNESCO has decided to add the traditional techniques of crafting Japanese-style "washi" paper to its list of intangible cultural heritage. (NHK)
Nov 27
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a female sex worker for allegedly threatening to kill a celebrity doctor two months ago, reports Nippon News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)
Nov 27
The Utsunomiya District Court in Tochigi Prefecture on Wednesday convicted two men over the illegal disposal of a body after they dumped the body of a young woman in a cardboard box near a quarry in Sano on Aug 4. (Japan Today)
Nov 27
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the bust of a prostitution ring that utilized social media services to recruit customers, reports Nippon News Network (Nov. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Nov 26
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the bust of a casino in Toshima Ward on charges of illegal gambling, reports TV Asahi (Nov. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Nov 26
The number of people injured in the earthquake that struck northern Nagano Prefecture over the weekend has risen to 45, according to prefectural authorities, while 690 houses were left without running water. (Japan Times)
Nov 26
The fraudulent composer once dubbed "Japan's Beethoven" is facing a lawsuit over the cancellation of his tour after it emerged he lied about his work and relied on a ghostwriter, reports said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 26
Villagers in Higashi-Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, are riding high. (Japan Times)
Nov 26
A Japanese pop group is trying to get people to change their tune about trash. They're singing in the streets while they clean. And some of their fans are helping them along the way. (NHK)
Nov 25
Four South Korean men have been arrested in southern Japan on suspicion of stealing an ancient Buddha statue, police said Nov. 25. (Asahi)
Nov 25
Police in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, said Tuesday that around 16,000 New Year greeting cards ("nengajo") have been stolen from 26 Lawson convenience stores. Security cameras have captured footage of two men who are believed to be the thieves. (Japan Today)