Voters wearing masks for protection against the coronavirus listen to a speech by a candidate in Tokyo on July 3, 2021, a day before the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Japan eyes keeping COVID-19 quasi-emergency during Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO - The Japanese government plans to extend the quasi-state of emergency covering Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures by about one month, keeping it in place during the Summer Olympics amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases in the capital, government sources said Sunday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will finalize the decision to keep the measure, which had been slated to end July 11, at a task force meeting on Thursday.


Japan seeks to have vaccine passports accepted by over 10 nations

TOKYO - Japan is making arrangements for its COVID-19 vaccination passports to be accepted by over 10 nations, including Italy, France and Greece, after the certificate program begins in late July, government sources said Sunday.

If the agreements are reached, certificate holders will be exempt from quarantine or showing negative test results for COVID-19 when traveling from Japan to those countries, the sources said.


LDP, Tomin First parties neck and neck in Tokyo assembly race: exit polls

TOKYO - The Liberal Democratic Party and Tomin First no Kai, a regional party founded by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, were neck and neck in Sunday's Tokyo metropolitan assembly election, exit polls showed.

Tomin First is likely to see its number of seats in the 127-seat assembly reduced from pre-election levels, while the LDP is projected to gain seats.


Search continues for 20 missing in rain-triggered mudslide in eastern Japan

SHIZUOKA - Rescue workers continued on Sunday to search for 20 people who remain missing following a large mudslide triggered by torrential rain in a hot spring resort town southwest of Tokyo that left two others dead and affected some 130 houses.

So far, 19 people have been rescued from where they were trapped following the disaster on Saturday in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, including a seriously injured woman, the city government said.


Myanmar troops forced way into Japan diplomat's home in April: source

TOKYO - Myanmar's security forces forcibly entered the homes of Japanese diplomatic and aid staff in the country's largest city Yangon in April, a Japanese government source said Sunday.

The security forces were apparently trying to search the premises of pro-democracy forces that oppose the military, but they withdrew once they learned the occupants were Japanese, the source said. The occupants were not harmed.


Refugees ask Japan to withdraw decoration of ex-Bhutan minister

KATHMANDU - Groups representing Bhutanese forcibly evicted from Bhutan have written to the Japanese prime minister asking that Japan withdraw a decoration conferred upon Dago Tshering, a former home minister accused by human rights activists of being a key perpetrator of ethnic cleansing in the Himalayan kingdom three decades ago.

In April, the Japanese government said that Tshering, Bhutan's home minister from 1991 to 1998 and ambassador to Japan from 1999 to 2008, would receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, earning him the distinction of being the first Bhutanese to get the honor.


40% of Tokyo Olympics' sessions could be staged without spectators

TOKYO - About 40 percent of sessions, or time slots, of the Tokyo Olympics are expected to be held without spectators if the current attendance cap of 10,000 people per venue is lowered to 5,000 as part of precautions against a potential fresh wave of coronavirus infections, officials involved in the planning process said Saturday.

In the wake of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the organizing committee and the Japanese government are finding it increasingly difficult to stick to the 10,000-spectator cap and they have begun to look at an alternative.


Serbian Olympic athlete tests positive for COVID-19 in Japan

TOKYO - An athlete with the Serbian Olympic team has tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan for the Tokyo Games, set to begin in less than three weeks, health ministry officials said Sunday.

The athlete, a member of the rowing team and in their 30s, was found to have the novel coronavirus based on an antigen test conducted at Tokyo's Haneda airport upon arrival on Saturday. The athlete has been isolated, according to the officials.