In the north-eastern town of Yonezawa, Yoichi Funayama, owner of a photo-printing firm, has pinned signs on his shop window decrying both the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as past their sell-by dates. The cheery shopkeeper likens the parties to parents standing outside their burning house arguing about what to do. Only one proposal doing the rounds has Mr Funayama's support: slashing the 480 lower-house seats in the Diet (parliament) by half.
It is one of the pet policies of Toru Hashimoto, son of a small-time gangster and 43-year-old mayor of the city of Osaka. On September 12th he launched a national political party that seeks to capitalise on popular anger at the two mainstream parties and the gridlocked political system they preside over. Seven existing Diet members have already defected to Mr Hashimoto's Japan Restoration Party (JRP), from the DPJ, the LDP and one other party. It plans to field 300-odd candidates in a general election which the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, may call this autumn. Mr Funayama remains unconvinced that Mr Hashimoto is the answer to Japan's problems. Among other things, he has a tendency to extol the merits of dictatorship. Yet suddenly the whole country is talking about his policies.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)
Police on Friday said that a real estate company employee was stabbed by an unknown assailant in the lobby of an office building near JR Akihabara station. The man is currently in a serious condition in hospital. (Japan Today )