News Headlines - 26 April 2021

Japan's LDP loses parliamentary elections | NHK WORLD

Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party failed to win any of the three seats up for grabs in parliamentary elections on Sunday, the first national elections since Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide took office in September last year.
Candidates backed by opposition parties won a re-held Upper House election in the Hiroshima constituency, an Upper House by-election in the Nagano constituency, and a Lower House by-election for the No. 2 district in Hokkaido.
The LDP fielded candidates in all but the Hokkaido constituency.

Lawmaker's secretary arrested for attempted murder of friend in Osaka - Japan Today

A state-paid secretary of a Diet member was arrested Sunday for allegedly attempting to murder an acquaintance in Osaka Prefecture by hitting him with a car and later beating him up, local police said.
Keita Narimatsu, 31, secretary to Japan Innovation Party lawmaker Mizuho Umemura, was quoted by the House of Councillors member as saying, "There is no doubt that I hit him (with my car), but I had no intention of killing him."
Narimatsu is suspected of trying to kill his childhood friend by hitting him with his car on a street in Sakai around 2:45 a.m. Sunday after getting into an argument with him while drinking alcohol with others at his friend's home earlier in the evening.

Mayor in Western Japan Offers to Resign over Sauna Row - JIJI PRESS

Ikeda, Osaka Pref., April 26 (Jiji Press)--The mayor of the western Japan city of Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, on Monday offered to reign amid controversy over home sauna equipment that he installed in the city government office.
"I apologize from the bottom of my heart for annoying the public and bringing city administration to a standstill," the mayor, Hiroki Tomita, 44, told a press conference.
"I will resign as city mayor to take responsibility," Tomita said. He did not specify when he will step down, but indicated that his departure will happen after progress on coronavirus vaccinations for elderly people in the city.
In 2019, Tomita was elected to the mayoral office for the first time, with the endorsement of Osaka Ishin no Kai, a regional party based in Osaka. After the sauna scandal came to light, he left the party in November 2020.

Japan's COVID-19 death toll tops 10,000 amid 3rd virus emergency

The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Japan topped 10,000 on Monday, doubling in about three months, as the country battles a fourth wave of infections driven by more contagious variants, a Kyodo News tally showed.
The country's vaccination rollout, which has been criticized as sluggish, only began for those 65 and over earlier this month, and is thus unlikely to lead to an immediate improvement in fatalities.

JAL to make Chinese LCC Spring Airlines Japan unit a subsidiary

Japan Airlines Co. is planning to make a unit of Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines Co. a subsidiary to meet an expected recovery in tourism demand after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.
JAL, which currently has about a 5 percent stake in Spring Airlines Japan Co., will invest an additional several billion yen possibly in June to increase its stake to 51 percent or more, the sources said.