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


Tokyo, other areas lift COVID curbs on eateries amid resurgence worries

TOKYO - Coronavirus restrictions on eateries were lifted in the Tokyo area and Osaka on Monday despite concerns over a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, as well as Osaka, eliminated curbs on the serving of alcohol and the operating hours that had been introduced to keep coronavirus infections from spreading.


PM Kishida "solemnly accepts" party's loss in by-election before nat'l vote

TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday he solemnly accepts the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's loss in one of two by-elections held ahead of the general election this weekend.

The defeat Sunday in Shizuoka Prefecture dealt a blow to Kishida, the LDP leader whose Cabinet approval rate is relatively low for a newly launched Cabinet. The LDP won in Yamaguchi Prefecture, a conservative stronghold.


Princess Mako meets former emperor, empress, day before her marriage

TOKYO - Princess Mako met with her grandparents former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko on Monday, a day before her controversy-hit marriage to her commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro.

The 30-year-old princess visited the couple for the first time in 19 months to bid farewell as she is set to register her marriage to Komuro, also 30, on Tuesday morning and leave the imperial household. Their marriage has drawn public controversy over a financial dispute involving Komuro's mother.


5 Russian navy ships enter Sea of Japan after circling around Japan

TOKYO - Five Russian navy ships entered the Sea of Japan through the Tsushima Strait in the country's southwest having previously formed a flotilla with five Chinese ships that had sailed around most of the Japanese archipelago, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

The ministry is analyzing what is behind the latest development. The 10 Russian and Chinese ships are believed to include vessels that took part in a joint drill conducted by the two countries in the Sea of Japan in mid-October, according to the ministry.


Japan's foreign minister hopes for improved ties with China

BEIJING - Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday expressed hope that his country's relations with China will improve, as the two Asian powers mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.

In a message to an online forum attended by experts well versed in the two nations, Motegi said that Sino-Japanese relations "remain in a serious and difficult situation," given that the Asian countries have different values and rules.


Tokyo's Yamanote loop line resumes normal operations after track work

TOKYO - The operation of Tokyo's Yamanote loop line returned to normal on Monday following the completion of track switching construction work that required a section of the line to be suspended over the weekend.

Services on East Japan Railway Co.'s inner loop line between Ikebukuro and Osaki stations, which includes the capital's busiest stations such as Shinjuku and Shibuya, were halted from the first train on Saturday to the last train on Sunday.


China's Xi vows to uphold global justice amid tensions with Taiwan

BEIJING - President Xi Jinping said Monday that the Chinese people have always upheld international equity and justice, while contributing significantly to world peace and development, in a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Communist-led China's participation in the United Nations.

Xi's remarks, carried by the official Xinhua News Agency, came at a time when tensions between the Communist-led mainland and Taiwan have been escalating as a large number of Chinese military planes have been sent into Taiwan's air defense identification zone since early October.


Runners banned from marathon over "Hong Kong, Add Oil!" slogan

HONG KONG - Participants in Hong Kong's Standard Chartered marathon on Sunday were ordered by police to cover up or change clothing bearing the slogan "Hong Kong, Add Oil!" after it was deemed too political, local media reported Monday.

The Chinese-character slogan was widely popularized as a pro-democracy slogan during the 2019 anti-government mass protests that left Hong Kong in political and social turmoil.