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


Gov't confirms 1st Japanese infected with Omicron variant

TOKYO - Japan has confirmed its first case of a Japanese national infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, marking the third case in the country, government sources said Monday.

The man in his 30s, who had traveled to Italy, was found to be infected with the heavily mutated variant after entering Japan through Tokyo's Haneda airport on Wednesday, according to the health ministry.


Japan PM Kishida vows to "prepare for worst" amid Omicron variant fears

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday vowed to "prepare for the worst" in dealing with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus while still moving swiftly to get the economy back on track.

In a policy speech marking the start of an extraordinary parliamentary session, Kishida also voiced hope for further debate on constitutional revision and pledged to conclude a sweeping review of security policy in about a year.


Myanmar court sentences Suu Kyi to 4 years in prison in 1st verdict

YANGON - A court in Myanmar sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday to four years in prison for incitement and violating coronavirus regulations, a military spokesperson said, in the first verdict against her since a February coup.

Suu Kyi, who was detained and put under house arrest after her civilian government led by the National League for Democracy party was ousted from power, has been put on trial for more than 10 criminal charges, while she denies any wrongdoing.


Japan submits record extra budget to parliament for COVID-hit economy

TOKYO - Japan's government on Monday submitted to parliament a draft extra budget for fiscal 2021 worth a record 36.0 trillion yen ($320 billion) to partially finance its latest economic package, aiming to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

With the first supplementary budget for the current fiscal year through March, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's administration will also prepare for another wave of COVID-19 infections that could occur during the winter, amid growing concerns over the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.


China vows to act if U.S. conducts diplomatic boycott of Olympics

BEIJING - China pledged Monday to take retaliatory measures if the United States implements a "diplomatic boycott" of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, with tensions between the world's two major powers intensifying over Beijing's alleged human rights violations.

The remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian came after CNN reported the administration of President Joe Biden is expected to announce later this week that no U.S. government officials will attend the Beijing Games slated for February.


Czech Senate leader says European nations must unite to face China

VIENNA - Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil believes European countries need to unite in dealing with China, saying that his delegation's visit to Taiwan last year brought increased pressure from Beijing in apparent retaliation for its move to improve ties with the island.

In a recent online interview with Kyodo News, Vystrcil, who led the roughly 90-member delegation to Taipei last year, said "China is doing everything it possibly can to keep Taiwan isolated."


IAEA delays Fukushima visit to assess water release due to Omicron

TOKYO - The International Atomic Energy Agency has delayed an expert team's visit to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to assess the planned release of treated radioactive water into the sea due to the Omicron coronavirus variant, the Japanese government said Monday.

The team's visit, originally scheduled for mid-December, will be postponed to January or later next year, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The IAEA mission was aimed at increasing transparency amid concerns over the water release plan raised by China and South Korea as well as local fishing communities.


27 remain missing, 15 dead after volcano eruption in Indonesia

JAKARTA - Indonesia's disaster agency said Monday that 27 people remain missing while at least 15 others have died from Saturday's eruption at a volcano on the main island of Java.

More than 1,700 people have been evacuated, 56 people injured and at least 3,000 buildings destroyed or damaged by the eruption at Mt. Semeru on the eastern part of the island, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.