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


Japan to bar new foreign arrivals for 1 month over Omicron fears

TOKYO - Japan will close its borders to new entries by foreigners amid concern over the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday as he vowed to move quickly to "avoid the worst-case scenario."

The measure will take effect Tuesday and last for about one month. Additionally, 14 countries and regions including Britain and Germany will be added to a list of places from which returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents will be subject to stricter quarantine requirements.


Toyota's Oct. global output sinks 25% as parts crunch continues

NAGOYA - Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday its global output sank 25.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 627,452 vehicles for the third straight month of decline, hit by lingering supply constraints, including for semiconductors.

With many deliveries of Toyota vehicles postponed, global sales, meanwhile, fell 20.1 percent to 677,564 units, according to the Japanese automaker.


Japan, EU leaders agree to cooperate for free, open Indo-Pacific

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and European Council President Charles Michel agreed in phone talks Monday to work together on efforts to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

During the 20-minute conversation, the two exchanged views on China and North Korea, and affirmed cooperation over global issues including climate change, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.


Olympic bid city Sapporo cuts budget for 2030 Winter Games by 20%

SAPPORO - The northern Japanese city of Sapporo announced Monday a significant cut to its projected hosting costs for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, slashing the budget by 90 billion yen ($790 million) or 20 percent of its initial estimate.

Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, is considered a leading candidate to win the right to host the events, but local residents have expressed concern there would be a repeat of this year's Tokyo Games budget blowout.


G-7 health ministers to hold emergency talks on new COVID variant

LONDON - Health ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations will hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss their responses to a new coronavirus variant spreading in Europe and elsewhere, the British government said Sunday.

The Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa and designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization, is feared to be highly transmissible and has been already confirmed in four of the G-7 members -- Britain, Canada, Germany and Italy -- after South Africa reported a case to the WHO on Wednesday.


Hong Kong records 3rd case of COVID variant found in southern Africa

HONG KONG - Hong Kong has recorded its third case of a heavily mutated coronavirus strain discovered in southern Africa, health officials said Monday, amid international concerns that the new variant could drive a new wave of transmissions.

At a press conference, the officials identified the third Omicron case as a 37-year-old man who arrived in Hong Kong from Nigeria last Wednesday.


Singapore, Malaysia reopen land border after 1 year, 8 months

SINGAPORE - Singapore and Malaysia on Monday reopened their land border after a year and eight months since it had been closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic that started early last year.

For crossing the reopened border, travelers need to be fully vaccinated and they also must test negative for the novel coronavirus two days before departure, the two countries said.


JR East conducts mock attack following violent incidents on trains

SENDAI - East Japan Railway Co. conducted a mock attack Monday on a bullet train in northeastern Japan to prepare staff for a possible incident like those seen recently on trains in Tokyo.

The simulated incident was attended by JR East's Sendai branch and local police. It involved a woman acting as an assailant who slashed a passenger and started a fire with a lighter after spraying liquid around the carriage.