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


Ex-minister Noda's entry makes LDP leadership election 4-way race

TOKYO - Former Japanese communications minister Seiko Noda on Thursday declared her bid to become leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, turning the search for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's successor into a four-way race.

Noda, who does not belong to an LDP faction, said she has secured the necessary 20 nominations from lawmakers to run in the party's Sept. 29 election.


Japan's top COVID-19 adviser says peak of 5th wave over

TOKYO - Japan's top COVID-19 adviser Shigeru Omi said Thursday that the peak of the fifth coronavirus wave has largely passed, but warned that a close eye must still be kept on the country's overburdened medical system.

Speaking to the House of Councillors' health committee, Omi attributed the downtrend in infections to a "combination of factors," namely the progress of vaccinations, reduced foot traffic, suspension of alcohol in dining establishments and high rate of mask-wearing.


U.S., U.K., Australia to form security partnership amid rise of China

WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday announced the launch of a security partnership with Britain and Australia in an apparent effort to counter China's assertiveness, paving the way for Canberra to obtain nuclear-powered submarines and join a handful of countries that operate them.

"We're taking another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation among all three of our nations because we all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term," President Joe Biden said at the White House, with his British and Australian counterparts attending virtually.


North Korea test-fired "railway-borne missile" on Sept. 15: KCNA

BEIJING - North Korea has tested a "railway-borne missile system," state-run media reported Thursday, a day after Japanese authorities said the nuclear-armed nation launched two ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The objective was to strike a target area 800 kilometers off North Korea's east coast, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Japan said the two missiles flew around 750 km before falling into the sea within its exclusive economic zone, in the first launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea in nearly six months.


Shinsei Bank claims SBI's explanation not enough over takeover bid

TOKYO - Shinsei Bank said Thursday major online Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings Inc. has failed to give a sufficient explanation on events leading up to its abrupt launch of an unsolicited takeover bid for the bank.

Shinsei Bank has yet to clarify its stance on the planned takeover but pointed out in a statement addressed to shareholders that some information given by SBI is "inaccurate" or "insufficient."


Princess Mako's boyfriend to return from U.S. to register marriage

TOKYO - Kei Komuro, the boyfriend of Japan's Princess Mako, plans to soon return to Japan from the United States to prepare for their marriage, sources familiar with the situation said Thursday, despite public unease over a money dispute involving his mother.

The Imperial Household Agency is considering holding a joint press conference for the princess, a niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and Komuro, both 29, upon his return from the United States, where he currently lives. The couple are preparing to register their marriage in October, according to a government source.


Japan cuts Sept. economic view, recovery pace has "weakened"

TOKYO - Japan's government on Thursday downgraded its economic assessment for September, saying the recovery pace has "weakened" due to slower consumption and industrial output and a cutback in car production triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Japanese economy is picking up, although the pace has weakened thanks to the severe situation caused by the novel coronavirus," the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report.


Google launches News Showcase in Japan, to pay fees to 40 publishers

TOKYO - Google LLC expanded its News Showcase service to Japan on Thursday, enabling users to view headlines from more than 40 Japanese newspapers and news agencies that each collect a license fee from the tech giant.

Unlike news content that appears through Google searches, the service allows news organizations to curate and package their coverage on the News Showcase page or app.