A housing complex of troubled real estate developer China Evergrande Group is pictured in Beijing on Oct. 22, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan party heads vie for support on 1st weekend of election race

TOKYO - Japanese political party leaders took to the streets Saturday, the first weekend since official campaigning for next week's general election began, with how to improve the lives of those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic one of the hotly debated issues.

In his stump speech in Takeo, southwestern Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, renewed his determination to "normalize social and economic activities" by preventing the spread of COVID-19 through vaccinations and extensive testing.


Fukui nuclear unit halted after missing deadline on antiterror steps

FUKUI, Japan - A nuclear reactor in central Japan's Fukui Prefecture was halted on Saturday, just four months after its restart as it could not meet a deadline set by regulators to implement antiterrorism measures.

The suspension of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Mihama No. 3 unit came ahead of the deadline on Monday for such measures to be completed. After undergoing safety checks, the utility aims to make the necessary changes to its facilities around September next year and restart operations in mid-October.


Tokyo reports 32 COVID-19 cases, below 50 for 7th straight day

TOKYO - Tokyo reported 32 new coronavirus cases Saturday, falling below 50 for the seventh consecutive day, as Japan has seen the number of infections falling steadily in tandem with progress in getting people vaccinated.

Tokyo's daily COVID-19 cases have dipped in recent weeks from its peak of more than 5,000 in August, which hammered the capital's medical system.


G-7 agree to eradicate forced labor amid China's treatment of Uyghurs

TOKYO - Trade ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed Friday to eliminate forced labor and shared their concern over such state-sponsored practice on minorities, in a veiled criticism of China's treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in the far-western Xinjiang region.

"We affirm that there is no place for forced labor in the rules-based multilateral trading system," the ministers said in a joint statement following their virtual meeting hosted by Britain, expressing their concern over "state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities."


Rugby: Japan fall 32-23 to Australia in entertaining battle

TOKYO - An aggressive, hard-running Japan side pushed Australia to the brink Saturday before falling 32-23 in their first international test match on home soil since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Lomano Lemeki and Ryoto Nakamura each scored a try, while Rikiya Matsuda kicked two penalties and a conversion for the hosts in a fast-paced, entertaining battle against the Southern Hemisphere powerhouse at Oita's Showa Denko Dome.


Part of Tokyo's busy Yamanote loop line to be suspended for 2 days

TOKYO - A section of Tokyo's Yamanote loop line was suspended Saturday due to track switching construction work slated to last through the weekend, the longest such suspension on the line since the launch of its operator JR East.

Services on the inner loop between Ikebukuro and Osaki stations, which include the busy JR Shibuya Station, were halted from the first train on Saturday and will be suspended through the last train on Sunday. The move is expected to affect a total of 540,000 passengers, or up to 865,000 people in prepandemic conditions, according to the train operator.


North Korea raps Biden's pledge to defend Taiwan if China attacks

BEIJING - North Korea on Saturday lambasted U.S. President Joe Biden's recent commitment to defend Taiwan if it is attacked by China, saying Washington has been attempting to stifle socialist countries.

In a statement dated Friday, Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Ho also emphasized that the situation surrounding the Taiwan Strait "is in correlation with the situation" on the Korean Peninsula, criticizing the United States for trying to maintain its "supremacy" in East Asia.


Sony unit to give real-time computer graphic football images to Serie A

TOKYO - A Sony Group Corp. subsidiary has signed a contract with Italian professional soccer league Serie A to provide 3-D computer graphic videos of games recreated in real time for use in broadcast and for teams to analyze their performance, Sony said.

Under a three-year deal from the current 2021-2022 season, sports-related tech firm Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd. will deliver the new service to the Italian premier league's 20 clubs by using data obtained from cameras installed at various locations at stadiums.