The four candidates running in the presidential election of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party attend a debate sponsored by video-sharing service Niconico in Tokyo on Sept. 18, 2021. The four -- (from L) vaccination minister Taro Kono, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former communications minister Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, executive acting secretary general of the LDP -- are vying for the post currently held by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


2 Japan PM hopefuls would introduce nuke fusion, small modular reactors

TOKYO - Two of the four contenders in the race to become Japan's next prime minister called Sunday for introducing small modular reactors and nuclear fusion reactors as part of efforts to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former communications minister Sanae Takaichi also said Japan should in the meantime restart its currently idled nuclear reactors in order to maintain a stable and feasible power supply source.


Seniors account for record 29.1% of Japan's population

TOKYO - Japan's seniors accounted for 29.1 percent of its population as of this month and 13.6 percent of its labor force in 2020, both record highs, government data showed Sunday, giving further evidence of a rapidly graying society.

The number of people aged 65 or older in the country, which has the world's oldest population, totaled a record-high 36.4 million, up 220,000 from a year earlier, according to the data by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications prior to Monday's Respect for the Aged Day holiday.


Australia to mull buying, leasing existing subs from U.S., Britain

SYDNEY - Australia will consider leasing or buying existing submarines from the United States or Britain while its own fleet of nuclear-powered subs is being built, Defense Minister Peter Dutton told local media on Sunday.

His remarks came just days after Australia entered into a surprise regional security partnership with the two countries in an apparent effort to counter China's assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, paving the way for it to obtain nuclear-powered submarines.


Indonesian security forces kill IS-linked militant leader

JAKARTA - Security forces shot dead a most-wanted leader of an Islamic State-linked militant group in central Indonesia late Saturday, local police confirmed on Sunday.

According to Central Sulawesi Police Chief Rudy Sufahriadi, Ali Ahmad, who is widely known among terrorist networks and police as "Ali Kalora," and another militant identified as Ikrima alias Jaka Ramadhan were killed during an exchange of fire with the joint police and military joint forces.


Japan firms look to paper products to reduce plastic waste

TOKYO - A number of Japanese firms have recently turned to paper as a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic products, from water-resistant cardboard boxes to small hangers.

The move comes as the Japanese government looks to enforce a law to improve the country's plastic recycling practices and cut down on waste from April next year.


Aid groups in Japan vow to continue support for Afghanistan

TOKYO - Humanitarian organizations in Japan have said they are determined to continue support for Afghanistan despite deteriorating security and logistics issues amid uncertainty in the country following the Taliban's return to power last month.

Some expressed concern over the future of Afghanistan following the suicide bombings near the Kabul airport in late August and said they have been trying to collect information on the chaotic situation in the country, from which the United States withdrew its troops to end a 20-year war triggered by the 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil.


Kabuki to collaborate with virtual diva in global streaming

TOKYO - A special Kabuki performance showcasing the collaboration of actor Nakamura Shido and popular virtual diva Hatsune Miku will be streamed online from Monday in 11 countries including France, the United States and India.

The "Cho Kabuki" (super Kabuki) program, featuring advanced visual effect technologies, is aimed at gaining a wider audience for the traditional form of Japanese theater, operator Shochiku Co. said.