'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.

Aug 30
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Aug 30
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Saturday he plans to establish a new political party possibly within the year, deepening the strife within Japan's second-largest opposition party. (Kyodo)
Aug 30
A recent series of cable fires at Japan Railway facilities in Tokyo has aroused a suspicion of serial arson, due to the abnormally high frequency of such an incident. (Jiji Press)
Aug 29
The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday showed the original design of Kenjiro Sano's Olympic and Paralympic Games logo embroiled in a plagiarism dispute, backing the Japanese designer's claim that he did not copy a Belgian theater logo. (Kyodo)
Aug 28
The Diet passed a bill Friday aiming to promote the role of women in the workplace, along with greater female participation in the economy at a time when the country's population is expected to shrink further. (Japan Times)
Aug 30
A rift has emerged in Japan's largest yakuza organised crime syndicate, the government said, with police warning Saturday that the split could lead to a wave of gang violence. (Japan Today)
Aug 28
Japan's Empress Michiko has enjoyed playing the piano to the singing voice of a prominent foreign soprano. (NHK)
Aug 28
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of 25-year-old woman inside her apartment in Nakano Ward, reports Fuji News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)
Aug 27
Three men and two woman were killed after the minivan they were traveling in flipped over and slammed into the railing of a bridge in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, early Thursday. (Japan Today)
Aug 27
A bogus smartphone tip spreading through tweets is causing a headache for the National Police Agency as users have been tricked into dialing the emergency number 110 in at least 22 prefectures. (Japan Times)
Aug 27
As a part of an investigation into a car accident earlier this year in Utsunomiya City, an organized crime boss has been arrested for a firearms violation, reports Fuji News Network (Tokyo Reporter)
Aug 27
An American man arrested earlier this month in connection with the death of a Japanese woman whose body was found off the coast of Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, is expected to face another arrest warrant shortly, this time for killing the woman, an investigative source said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 27
Koji Yamada, the 45-year-old man who was arrested in Osaka Prefecture last week for abandoning a girl's body, was questioned by police in Tokyo before committing the alleged crime, it was learned on Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 26
Police raided the headquarters of Japan's largest yakuza syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi on Tuesday after 14 workers at a waste disposal plant in Kobe, western Japan, became sick after treating waste from the building early this month. (Japan Times)
Aug 26
Toyama Prefectural Police on Tuesday arrested a 56-year-old woman for allegedly dumping the body of her father outside their home in Takaoka City. Investigators are now working to apply murder charges, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)