'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.

May 27
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to visit Hiroshima on Friday, becoming the first American head of state to do so since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city in August 1945. (Kyodo)
May 27
A 19-year-old woman this week became the youngest Japanese to scale the world's highest peak, a mountaineering official confirmed Thursday. (Japan Times)
May 26
Hanako, Japan's oldest elephant who made headlines for spending most of her life alone in a concrete enclosure, died at 69 in Tokyo on Tuesday, NHK (May 26) reported. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A pair of melons produced in the Hokkaido city of Yubari on Thursday fetched a record ¥3 million ($27,240) in the first auction of the harvest season at a Sapporo wholesale market. (Japan Times)
May 26
The leaders of the Group of 7 nations have expressed concern over the situations in the East and South China Seas, where China is increasing its maritime activities. (NHK)
May 27
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested two organized crime members for operating a grow house for marijuana in Soka City, reports TV Asahi. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A utility knife sitting on the floor near an intoxicated man's bag caused quite a stir in a Tokyo subway station, NHK reported on Thursday (May 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A Japanese man was arrested Wednesday in Thailand on suspicion of raping and sexually harassing a number boys aged between 13 and 15 in the country's northern province of Chiang Mai, investigators said. (Japan Times)
May 26
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday handed an American male an 18-month prison sentence in the death of a woman in Miura City last July, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 25
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)
May 25
A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after taking a woman hostage and barricading an apartment in the western Japan prefecture of Ehime for over 16 hours, police said. (Japan Today)
May 25
A 1-year-old boy fell to his death from the 6th floor of his family apartment in Kyoto's Tsurumai city in an apparent accident, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
May 25
You know something has become a cultural phenomenon when it gets its own slang! (rocketnews24.com)
May 25
Osaka Prefectural Police have accused a chain of members-only restaurants of illegally serving the innards of a poisonous blowfish to customers, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 25
Nine Ground Self-Defense Force members shot as many as 79 live rounds at one another by mistake in an exercise in Hokkaido on Monday, the GSDF said Tuesday. (Japan Today)