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


Japan to get new prime minister Oct. 4, general election seen in Nov.

TOKYO - Japan's parliament will elect a new prime minister on Oct. 4 at an extraordinary session, according to a Cabinet decision Tuesday, meaning a general election is likely to be held in November, coming after lower house members' terms expire for the first time in postwar history.

To hold the election before the members' terms end on Oct. 21, campaigning needs to start on Oct. 5 for voting on Oct. 17 at the latest. But given the new prime minister needs to appoint Cabinet members and is likely to deliver a policy speech, Japan is certain not to meet those schedules.


Japan eyes lifting COVID-19 emergency at end of month as scheduled

TOKYO - The Japanese government is leaning toward lifting the COVID-19 state of emergency covering 19 prefectures including Tokyo at the end of the month as scheduled, government and ruling party sources said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to make a final decision next Tuesday, the sources said.


Key Tokyo stock index sees biggest fall in 3 months on China property fears

TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei stock index ended sharply lower Tuesday with its biggest one-day point decline in three months, in a global market rout on concerns that a potential default by a giant Chinese property developer could lead to a slowdown in the global economy.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 660.34 points, or 2.17 percent, from Friday at 29,839.71, its lowest close since Sept. 6. Japanese financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 35.62 points, or 1.70 percent, lower at 2,064.55.


U.S. to shift in Nov. from travel bans to vaccine proof for visitors

WASHINGTON - The United States is easing its travel restrictions introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting from bans that have limited entry for non-citizens from China, Europe and some other countries to a vaccine requirement for all foreign air travelers from early November, the White House said Monday.

Under the new rules, foreign nationals boarding U.S.-bound airplanes must show proof that they are fully vaccinated in addition to the existing requirement of testing negative for the novel coronavirus within three days prior to departure. They will not be required to quarantine upon entry to the United States.


Major Chinese property developer faces default, fans financial woes

BEIJING - Major Chinese property developer, Evergrande Group, is facing bankruptcy with its liabilities swelling to 1.97 trillion yuan ($304.6 billion), sparking concern that it could cause another financial crisis such as that in 2008.

If Evergrande, which owns a popular soccer club in the country, goes into default, its subcontracting companies would run into financial difficulties, possibly triggering business failures in local banks in China, sources familiar with the matter said.


Japan's elderly to get COVID-19 booster shots in early 2022

TOKYO - Japan will start administering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the elderly early next year, vaccination minister Taro Kono said Tuesday, as the country aims to better respond to the spread of more contagious variants.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare decided last week to give booster shots to people who have gone at least eight months since receiving their second dose, citing studies that show antibodies that protect against the disease decrease over time.


Japan megabank Mitsubishi UFJ to sell most of American unit to U.S. Bancorp

TOKYO - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. plans to sell most of its American banking unit MUFG Union Bank to U.S. Bancorp in a deal expected to be worth over 1 trillion yen ($9.12 billion), sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

MUFG Union Bank's operations for corporate customers will be transferred to the major Japanese financial group and all the bank's shares will be sold to U.S. Bancorp, the sources said.


Pfizer vaccine found to be safe, effective for children aged 5-11

WASHINGTON - Pfizer Inc. said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective for children aged between 5 and 11 following clinical trials that showed participants had a strong immune response against the virus.

The U.S. pharmaceutical firm and its German vaccine development partner BioNTech SE will submit the data to U.S. and other regulatory authorities in the near future to seek approval for use. The vaccine is currently administered to people aged 12 and older in Japan and overseas.