Charismatic outsider Toru Hashimoto tipped as future leader of Japan
News On Japan via guardian.co.uk -- Jul 18
Depending on who you ask, Toru Hashimoto is either a dangerous populist bent on returning Japan to its militarist past, or a charismatic radical leading a crusade to breathe life into the country's stagnant politics.
Still in his early 40s, and with no experience of national office, Hashimoto is not only the most talked-about politician in Japan, he is now being tipped as its future leader.
As mayor of Osaka, he has built a reputation for controversy, openness and a self-belief that has delivered stunning victories in local elections - qualities that could soon be tested on the national electorate.
As the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, battles to keep his Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) intact after a recent defection by its largest faction, Hashimoto is priming as many as 300 hand-picked candidates to run in what some analysts expect will be a snap general election this year.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )