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


Japan decides to end COVID-19 state of emergency as cases fall

TOKYO - The Japanese government on Tuesday formally decided to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency covering Tokyo and 18 other prefectures, as well as the quasi-state of emergency in other areas, as infections have declined from their peak.

When the measures end on Thursday, it will be the first time since April 4 that none of the country's 47 prefectures has been under a state of emergency or quasi-state of emergency.


North Korea fires what appears to be ballistic missile

TOKYO/SEOUL - North Korea on Tuesday fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile in the second such launch in two weeks, with the projectile believed to have splashed into waters outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, Japanese government officials said.

South Korea's military said North Korea fired a short-range missile at around 6:40 a.m. into the sea off its east coast from Mupyong-ri, an inland location in Jagang Province near the border with China.


TPP members start full-fledged talks on U.K.'s accession

TOKYO - The 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact discussed Tuesday the United Kingdom's bid to join the regional framework at the first meeting of their working group on the subject online, the Japanese government said.

If the U.K. bid is accepted, the country will be the first to join the original 11 signatories including Japan, Australia and Canada since the pact took effect in 2018. Earlier this month, China and Taiwan also filed their applications to accede to the free trade agreement.


Japan protests S. Korean court order for M'bishi Heavy to sell assets

TOKYO - Japan has protested to South Korea over a court order for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to sell assets in the country to provide compensation in a wartime forced labor lawsuit, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday.

"It is extremely regrettable. Liquidating (the assets) would invite a grave situation for both Japan and South Korea," Motegi told reporters following the Daejeon District Court's decision on Monday.


Japan's largest labor body may have 1st-ever female president

TOKYO - The nomination committee of Japan's largest labor organization said Tuesday it has selected Tomoko Yoshino, one of the body's vice presidents, as its candidate for next president, raising the possibility that the entity will have the first-ever female chief.

The successor of Rikio Kozu, 65, the head of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, known as Rengo, is expected to be picked at a regular convention on Oct. 6, according to the organization with a membership of 7 million that was established in 1989. Kozu's term will expire next month.


Places at 46% of private Japanese universities not filled in 2021

TOKYO - New enrollments at 46.4 percent, or 277, of four-year private Japanese universities in spring 2021 were less than the number of places offered, up 15.4 percentage points from the previous fiscal year, a survey by a mutual private school organization showed Tuesday.

A decrease of around 26,000 in the 18-year-old population, as well as the number of international students due to the coronavirus pandemic, are believed to be factors in the low enrollments, the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan said.


Kuroda becomes longest-serving BOJ chief as Japan awaits new leader

TOKYO - At 3,116 days in office, Haruhiko Kuroda is poised to become the Bank of Japan's longest-serving governor on Wednesday, faced with unprecedented challenges after years of unparalleled monetary easing.

Under Kuroda, who took the post in March 2013, the BOJ has embarked on an asset-buying spree, gobbling up Japanese government bonds and exchange-traded funds to see its total assets more than quadruple in the eight years to March 2021 to around 715 trillion yen ($6.4 trillion), exceeding in size Japan's nominal gross domestic product, which stood at some 537 trillion yen in fiscal 2020.


Japanese pop group Arashi members Sakurai, Aiba marry their partners

TOKYO - Sho Sakurai and Masaki Aiba, two members of dormant Japanese boy band Arashi, have married their respective partners, their agency Johnny & Associates Inc. said Tuesday.

The agency said the partners of Sakurai, 39, and Aiba, 38, are not entertainers.