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Japan's ruling bloc set to force secrecy law bill to vote

Japan's ruling bloc will put a controversial secrecy bill to a vote in the upper house Friday, leaving a rift open with the opposition camp over an independent oversight system to ensure the public's right to know. The House of Councillors, controlled by the ruling bloc, is expected to vote in favor of the legislation, even as opposition parties call for further deliberations and appear set to make attempts to keep the ruling bloc from ramming it through.

DPJ confirms slightly revised leadership, Kaieda retains top post

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan approved on Friday slight changes to its leadership following a major setback in Sunday's upper house election, with Banri Kaieda remaining as party leader. While seeking support from member lawmakers, Kaieda suggested he would step down as party president in one year's time if he does not successfully reinvigorate the DPJ, which lost more than half of its contested seats in the recent House of Councillors election.

DPJ to field only 1 candidate in upper house race in Tokyo

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan has decided to field only one candidate in the Tokyo constituency for the July 21 House of Councillors election, revoking its endorsement of another candidate due to the slim chance of securing two seats in the capital. DPJ leader Banri Kaieda told reporters Tuesday night that the party made a "difficult decision" to field only Kan Suzuki, 49, based on surveys conducted after the DPJ's crushing defeat in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election on June 23.

DPJ offers counterproposal to "Abenomics" in election

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan unveiled Tuesday its campaign platform for this summer's upper house election with a counterproposal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies, DPJ leader Banri Kaieda said. "The Abe administration puts its emphasis on the nation and corporate enterprises but it is meaningless if the people aren't prosperous," Kaieda said at a news conference at his party's headquarters. "I will speak out to protect the people's livelihood."

DPJ aims to play up negative side of "Abenomics" in election

The Democratic Party of Japan unveiled Monday a final draft of its campaign platform for this summer's upper house election, with the largest opposition party criticizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies. In its platform, the DPJ, which lost power in last December's general election, also attacked the premier and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party for rushing to revise the nation's pacifist Constitution.
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