Opposition-backed former Yokohama City University professor Takeharu Yamanaka (C, R) receives flowers after being assured of victory in the Yokohama mayoral election on Aug. 22, 2021, in the city near Tokyo. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Opposition wins Yokohama mayor election in blow to Suga

YOKOHAMA - Opposition-backed Takeharu Yamanaka won the Yokohama mayoral election on Sunday, defeating a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate in a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, according to Kyodo News projections.

The loss by Hachiro Okonogi, a former chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, comes as Suga suffers from falling public support amid dissatisfaction with the government's COVID-19 response.


Japan eyes sending SDF plane to Afghanistan for evacuation

TOKYO - Japan plans to dispatch a Self-Defense Forces plane to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese nationals there and local staff who have worked for the Japanese Embassy amid the worsening security situation in the country, government sources said Sunday.

The government, which plans to send the aircraft as soon as preparations are complete, will also evacuate local staff that worked for the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other organizations, the sources said.


Japan urges new Iran president to return to nuclear deal

TOKYO - Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Sunday urged Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi to return to a multilateral deal over Tehran's nuclear program, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Motegi filed the request in a meeting with Raisi, an anti-U.S. hard-liner who took office earlier this month, in the Iranian capital.


Tokyo reports 4,392 new coronavirus cases, highest for Sunday

TOKYO - The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed on Sunday 4,392 new coronavirus cases, marking the highest figure ever reported for that day of the week.

The number, which surpasses the 4,295 cases reported last Sunday, was down from the 5,074 new cases the previous day, when they topped the 5,000 level for the fourth straight day.


Football: Osako, Muto ready to push Kobe to new heights

TOKYO - Forwards Yuya Osako and Yoshinori Muto promised on Sunday to deliver for Vissel Kobe as the pair returned from European clubs to the J-League first division.

Japan international Osako left relegated Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, while Muto is looking to rekindle his career after three underwhelming seasons with English Premier League club Newcastle United.


U.S. vice president arrives in Singapore for 1st trip to Asia

SINGAPORE - U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Singapore on Sunday as part of her first official trip to Asia that aims to show U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region amid the growing clout of China.

Her two-nation trip to Asia, which includes Vietnam, comes as U.S. President Joe Biden faces strong criticism at home and abroad over the chaos caused by the hasty U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan amid the Taliban's recent takeover of the country.


Australia's PM concedes return to zero COVID "highly unlikely"

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that it is time to shift focus from case numbers to hospitalizations, as widespread outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant make it "highly unlikely" Australia will return to zero cases of community transmission.

The admission marks a big shift in Australia's until now largely successful elimination strategy that has seen strict border restrictions and snap lockdowns as the central features of the country's pandemic response.