May 8, 2012

Low autopsy rate seen abetting murderers

Kanae Kijima, recently sentenced to hang for killing three boyfriends, may have been arrested before the second and third murders if police had conducted an autopsy on the first victim, Takao Terada, who was found dead in his Tokyo home in 2009. Police deemed ...

Apr 28, 2012

Eased postal reforms, Diet pay cuts passed

The Diet passed a bill Friday to amend the Postal Privatization Law and water down the postal reforms championed in the early 2000s by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and a bill to trim national lawmakers’ salaries for two years. The two bills were ...

Censure motions passed on ministers

Apr 21, 2012

Censure motions passed on ministers

The Upper House passed nonbinding censure motions Friday against Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Takeshi Maeda, delivering a double blow to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration. The motions were submitted Wednesday by the Liberal Democratic Party and two ...

LDP readies two censure motions

Apr 18, 2012

LDP readies two censure motions

It looks like Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his ruling Democratic Party of Japan are in for a rough ride in the current Diet session. The Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it is ready to submit censure motions against two Cabinet ministers. LDP Secretary ...

Apr 13, 2012

Lawmakers give nod to weakened postal bill

A government-sponsored bill that waters down the postal privatization reforms pushed through by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi cleared the Lower House on Thursday, which may allow the government to retain control of the banking, mail and insurance juggernaut for years to come. The ...

Opposition grills Noda over tax reform details

Apr 12, 2012

Opposition grills Noda over tax reform details

Social security and tax reform plans were the main issues of contention Wednesday as opposition party leaders grilled Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda during a one-on-one Diet debate. Noda repeatedly urged opposition leaders to cooperate with the passage of the tax hike bill, which he ...

Apr 10, 2012

LDP and Komeito shoot down reform talks

Two main opposition parties on Monday spurned a call by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to hold talks on social security and tax reform, dealing another setback to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as he seeks support for a contentious tax hike bill. The ...

Teachers with two left feet struggling with dance classes

| Apr 10, 2012

Teachers with two left feet struggling with dance classes

A new education rule that kicked in this year has created a fresh challenge for gym teachers across the nation: how to teach hip-hop. Thanks to teaching guidelines revised in 2008, dancing joined martial arts as a compulsory subject for junior high school students ...

Budget finally passed

Apr 6, 2012

Budget finally passed

The fiscal 2012 budget, at more than ¥90 trillion the biggest in history, was finally enacted by the Diet on Thursday as an earlier vote in the Lower House took priority after the opposition-controlled Upper House shot it down earlier in the day. The ...

| Mar 31, 2012

Passage hinges on Ozawa, opposition

Despite the Cabinet’s approval Friday of a sales tax hike bill that sparked months of dissent and resistance from the ruling party’s ranks, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may find that in the deadlocked Diet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. ...