Japan's opposition party pitches alternatives to Abenomics
Nikkei -- Aug 09
The Democratic Party's former secretary-general has formally entered the race to lead Japan's main opposition party, laying the groundwork for a battle over whether the Democrats can offer viable alternatives to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies, known as Abenomics.

Yukio Edano declared his candidacy Tuesday for the party's presidency, which will be decided Sept. 1. He faces Seiji Maehara, a former foreign minister who announced his run the day before. The two are competing to replace current chief Renho, who said in late July that she would step down to take responsibility for the party's stinging loss in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election early that month.

News source: Nikkei
Aug 17
Huge bonfires on mountains lit up Japan's old capital, Kyoto, on Wednesday night in an annual Buddhist ceremony. (NHK)
Aug 17
The Imperial Household Agency said on Thursday it will announce the informal engagement of Princess Mako, a granddaughter of the Emperor and Empress, to former university classmate Kei Komuro on Sept. 3. (the-japan-news.com)
Aug 17
Lack of sunshine caused by prolonged cloudy conditions and lingering rain in Pacific coastal areas of northeastern Japan may cause problems for the rice harvest. (NHK)
Aug 17
A giant tortoise that made a break from a Japanese zoo has been found safe and sound two weeks after it escaped -- just 140 meters from the park. (Japan Today)
Aug 17
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit flood-hit northern areas of the Kyushu southwestern Japan region in late October, Imperial Household Agency sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Aug 17
From beer gardens on the rooftops of department stores to fireworks extravaganzas to quiet, wood-paneled craft breweries, Japanese seem to quaff an awful lot of beer in the summer. (dailymail.co.uk)
Aug 17
Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are discussing a plan to establish "festival squares" in three locations in Tokyo, where people without tickets can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the Games through public viewing events and other gatherings during the competition. (the-japan-news.com)
Aug 16
The estimated number of visitors to Japan in July grew 16.8 pct from a year before to 2,681,500, a record high on a monthly basis, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Aug 16
The Japan Tourism Agency plans to urge "ryokan" Japanese-style inn operators to set separate fees for stays and meals, agency officials said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Aug 16
The organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said Tuesday that it has received a total of 2,042 applications in a campaign to solicit ideas for official mascots for the quadrennial sporting events. (Jiji)