The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan regards former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa as the most favorable candidate for the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election, party members said Thursday.
The DPJ is reviewing its campaign strategy after calls grew within the party to back former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe, a potential contender in the upcoming Tokyo gubernatorial election. The party leaves open the option of supporting Masuzoe if Hosokawa does not run, the members said.
"He has started to seriously think about the matter," Hosokawa's wife Kayoko told Kyodo News on Thursday, adding that the former prime minister has a "fifty-fifty chance" of running in the election and that his decision will come out in "a few days."
The probability for the Kanto region to be hit by a powerful earthquake - lower 6 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 - within 30 years has risen, the government panel's latest quake probability map showed Friday. (The Japan News)
A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells. (Japan Today)
The Niigata prefectural government started clearing a section of National Highway Route 405 in Tsunan in the prefecture on Friday, after a landslide mixed with snow blocked off about 50 meters of the road the night before. (The Japan News)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)