Japan's space agency says the Hayabusa2 probe has begun its descent onto an asteroid. It is attempting a groundbreaking mission to collect rock samples from beneath the surface of an asteroid.
At around 10:46 a.m. Japan time, the Hayabusa2 started its descent from an altitude of 20,000 meters onto the asteroid Ryugu.
Official campaigning is underway in Japan's Upper House election set for July 21. It may prove to be a barometer of public opinion on the current administration's six and a half years in power.
The ruling coalition consists of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, Komeito.
Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 is making a descent toward the asteroid Ryugu in a new mission to create an artificial crater for a study of the celestial body's interior. The asteroid is located 340 million kilometers from Earth.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says the probe began its descent toward Ryugu from an altitude of 20,000 meters at around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Japan time.
The start of the new era is still a month away, but businesses are already jumping aboard the "Reiwa" bandwagon with new products, including candies, potato chips, chopsticks and a board game, to capitalize on consumers' celebratory mood.
Within minutes after the April 1 announcement of a new era name, confectioners started kneading and pulling sugary dough to hand-craft a commemorative version of "Kintaro ame" candies at Kintaroame Honten in Tokyo's Taito Ward.