Collaborating Authors

Diet members earned an average of 22.69 million in 2015

The Japan Times

The average income of national lawmakers fell 6.5 percent in 2015 from a year earlier to 22.69 million for the first decline in four years, the Diet reported Monday. The top earner was Miki Watanabe, an Upper House member and founder of Watami Co., which operates a chain of izakaya pubs, but he saw his income decline by more than 1 billion last year, which brought down the Diet-wide average. The report covering 714 lawmakers also showed that average income from stock dividends fell by 1.12 million to 2.73 million. A 20 percent reduction in the salaries of Diet members had been applied from January through April 2014 in a bid to win public acceptance for the consumption tax hike, which was implemented that April 1, but lawmakers received their full salaries throughout 2015. The number of lawmakers who earned more than 50 million came to 19, down three from 2014.

77% of Japanese town and village assembly members elderly

The Japan Times

Of the 10,956 town and village assembly members in Japan, 8,442, or 77.1 percent, were aged 60 or over as of July 1 last year, a survey showed Thursday. The survey by the national association of town and village assembly chairs covered 927 such assemblies nationwide. The average age of all town and village assembly members stood at 64.2, up 0.7 from a year before, according to the survey. The youngest was Daisuke Nakao, 26, at the assembly of the town of Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, while the oldest Haruo Hanai, 91, at the assembly of the village of Yahiko, Niigata Prefecture. Female assembly members numbered 1,100, or only 10.0 percent of the total.

Police: 4 Family Members Shot After Couple's Fight

U.S. News

Police say the woman called family members Thursday night after the couple got into a physical fight. Investigators say one of the men got into a fist fight with the boyfriend, who then pulled out a gun and started firing.

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