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


U.S., China hold trade talks, with tariff removal among the agendas

WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai held talks with her Chinese counterpart Liu He on Friday over a bilateral trade deal signed last year, with Beijing saying that the removal of punitive tariffs imposed by the United States was among the topics discussed.

The virtual meeting, the first such engagement between the two in months, took place as the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden seeks to realign its trade policy with Beijing after four years under his predecessor Donald Trump that saw the two countries enter into a tit-for-tat tariff war and the "phase one" trade deal that failed to fully tackle U.S. concerns over China's unfair trade practices and policies.


Japan PM Kishida vows to strengthen medical system for COVID patients

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday he will work toward strengthening the country's medical system amid the coronavirus pandemic by designating more public hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

Speaking to reporters after his first visit to a hospital that treats COVID-19 patients after taking office Monday, Kishida said the government must prepare for the "worst-case scenario" when it comes to ramping up the medical system.


China's Xi confident of completely reunifying Taiwan with mainland

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized Saturday that the Communist-led government can completely reunify Taiwan with the mainland as his leadership steps up military pressure on the self-ruled, democratic island.

But Xi also said, in a speech to commemorate Sunday's 110th anniversary of the 1911 revolution that ended 2,000 years of imperial rule in China, that national reunification "by peaceful means" serves Beijing's interests.


Tokyo sees 82 COVID-19 cases, lowest daily figure this year

TOKYO - Tokyo confirmed 82 new coronavirus cases Saturday, the lowest daily figure this year, the metropolitan government said.

It is the first time since June 27 of last year that the number of cases in the Japanese capital has come in below 100 on a Saturday.


Singapore expands quarantine-free vaccinated travel lane scheme

SINGAPORE - Singapore said Saturday that it will expand its vaccinated travel lanes scheme that allows visitors to enter the city-state without the need for quarantine to another nine countries.

The government said the scheme, which was introduced last month for Brunei and Germany, will be expanded to Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain and the United States next month.


53 evacuees arrive in Japan, 1st group leaving Afghanistan by air

TOKYO - The Foreign Ministry said Saturday that 53 Afghan evacuees have arrived in Japan, the first group to depart the Taliban-ruled country for Japan by air, with help from Qatar, rather than by land which is deemed more dangerous.

The group -- 27 of whom are Japanese embassy staff members and their families, while the other 26 are workers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and their families -- landed at Narita airport near Tokyo on Friday night via Doha, by means of a commercial plane arranged by Qatar at the request of Japan.


West Japan city resolves water outage after pipe collapse 6 days ago

WAKAYAMA, Japan - The city of Wakayama in western Japan said Saturday that it had started to resume the water supply to some 60,000 homes that had been affected by the partial collapse of a water pipe bridge six days ago.

However, residents were asked not to drink the water until further notice in case any impurities were present.


Soccer: Saudi Arabia apologizes to Yoshida, Japan for fan conduct

TOKYO - The Saudi Arabian Football Federation apologized for the behavior of fans confronted by Japan captain Maya Yoshida for making "discriminatory gestures" following Thursday's World Cup qualifier between the countries, Japan Football Association official Kiyotaka Suhara said Saturday.

Yoshida was taunted by Saudi Arabian fans standing behind a pitch-side barrier as he gave an interview following Japan's 1-0 loss at King Abdulla Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, prompting him to approach the section and point to members of the crowd.