'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 29
More than 8,580 people were taken to hospitals in the week through Sunday due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion and 15 died, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 29
A 16-year-old girl was sent to prosecutors Monday after she was arrested the day before on suspicion of killing a 15-year-old female classmate. (The Japan News)
Jul 29
A maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture has overseen the birth of 118 babies to 79 married couples using sperm from the husbands' fathers, it has been learned. (The Japan News)
Jul 28
Japan will impose additional sanctions on Russia for failing to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, where the recent downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet killed all 298 people aboard, the government said Monday. (Kyodo)
Jul 28
Police in Iida, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday arrested a 71-year-old man on suspicion of slashing four family members at their home. (Japan Today)
Jul 29
During her first court hearing at the Tokyo District Court last week, Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at staffing agency Pasona who has been charged with possession and use of stimulant drugs, came up with a few creative explanations for how she could have tested positive for illegal chemicals in her system. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 29
A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Jul 28
Eleven people died, one person remains unconscious and two are missing after water-related accidents across Japan over the weekend, police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
Police in Tokyo said Sunday they have arrested the father of TV "talent" and model Rola for allegedly defrauding Japan's national health insurance system. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)
Jul 28
Residents have taken part in a horse festival that boasts a history of over 1,000 years in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 27
The Metropolitan Police Department on Friday launched a special team to deal with stalking, domestic violence and child and elder abuse. (The Japan News)
Jul 27
Police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old man who tried to get a 9-year-old girl into his car. (Japan Today)
Jul 26
South Korea's War Museum has retracted its decision to cancel an exhibition of the popular Japanese manga "One Piece" after a court ordered that the event should go ahead. (NHK)
Jul 26
Police in Osaka said Friday that a reckless driving incident involving five vehicles left three people injured. (Japan Today)