Opposition lawmakers claimed Wednesday that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's grip on power is increasingly weakening due to the recent spate of defections by lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan.
Lower House lawmaker Hirosato Nakatsugawa was the latest addition to the list of DPJ defectors. As of Wednesday, 55 Diet members had tendered their resignations to the DPJ, triggered by the Lower House passage of the sales tax hike bill June 26.
Nakatsugawa's exit came a day after three DPJ members from the Upper House resigned partly because of Noda's goal to double the 5 percent tax by 2015.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )