The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 jolted the Tokyo region late Thursday, but there was no threat of a tsunami, the weather agency said.
The quake occurred at 10:41 p.m., logging upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in parts of Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture, with the focus in northwestern Chiba Prefecture at a depth of about 80 kilometers, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
SHIZUOKA, Japan - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday said he will follow through with his pledge to deliver a "large-scale" stimulus package to give Japan's pandemic-hit economy a shot in the arm as campaigning started for two upper house by-elections.
The Oct. 24 by-elections in Shizuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures will allow voters to make their feelings known about the new administration launched by the prime minister this week, ahead of a general election at the end of the month.
TOKYO - The Bank of Japan on Thursday downgraded its economic assessments on five of the country's nine regions amid the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic as well as supply shortages of semiconductors and other components that have hit manufacturers.
In its quarterly Sakura report, the central bank maintained its views on the remaining four regions, including the Tokyo area. The BOJ maintains the Japanese economy remains in a "severe" situation despite trending toward recovery, it said.
TOKYO - Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who during their conversation expressed his readiness to advance talks on a postwar peace treaty, a Foreign Ministry official said.
Putin also expressed his hope to hold talks with Kishida in person, during their first phone conversation since the prime minister took office on Monday, according to the Japanese ministry official.
Japan, U.S. business leaders call for improved supply chains
TOKYO - Japanese and U.S. business leaders on Thursday agreed that supply chains for critical products need more diversification among like-minded nations as the coronavirus pandemic exposed vulnerabilities.
After two days of talks, the business councils of both countries said cooperation among allies, as well as between the public and private sectors, is required to build "resilient and trusted" supply chains and mitigate risks to businesses.
WASHINGTON - The United States said Wednesday it agreed with China to hold a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping by the end of the year, as Washington seeks to manage the growing rivalry between the nations.
The announcement was made following talks between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland, which, according to a senior Biden administration official, lasted for six hours and touched on U.S. concerns over China's possible human rights abuses as well as its pressure on Taiwan.
TAIPEI - Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for support for Taiwan on Thursday as he met President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, alerting the international community to challenges to the self-ruled, democratic island posed by China.
Abbott, who visited Taiwan after scores of Chinese warplanes entered its air defense identification zone in recent days, said Taiwan is challenged on an almost daily basis by "its giant neighbor," referring to China.