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


Japan to shoulder more cost of hosting U.S. military forces

TOKYO - Japan has decided to accept a request by the United States to pay more for hosting its military forces from fiscal 2022 after the two countries held working-level negotiations in Washington from late November through early this month, diplomatic sources said Sunday.

Japan is expected to reach an agreement on the increase with the United States before Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet decides on a draft budget for the fiscal year starting in April later this month, the sources said.


Princess Aiko goes through official coming-of-age ceremonies

TOKYO - Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, went through official ceremonies Sunday to mark her coming of age as she was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown at the Imperial Palace.

The princess, who became an adult member of the imperial family when she turned 20 last Wednesday, also visited sanctuaries that enshrine the family's ancestors and Japanese gods earlier in the day to offer prayers.


Death toll rises to 13 in volcano eruption on Indonesia's Java

JAKARTA - The death toll from a volcanic eruption Saturday on Indonesia's main island of Java has risen to 13, the country's disaster agency said Sunday.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said about 70 people have been injured, mostly suffering from burns, after Mt. Semeru, located in East Java Province's Lumajang Regency, erupted.


Japan will no longer allow foreign students to buy duty-free goods

TOKYO - The Japanese government and ruling parties have decided to abolish the system allowing foreign students and other long-term residents to make duty-free purchases in response to suspected cases of reselling and complaints of cumbersome eligibility checks, sources familiar with the plan said Sunday.

Under the current system, which will be revised as part of tax reforms for fiscal 2022, foreign students staying long-term in Japan and not working part-time can make tax-free purchases within six months of entering the country.


Myanmar army vehicle rams into protesters, 5 killed: report

BANGKOK - A Myanmar military vehicle plowed into anti-junta protesters in the largest city Yangon on Sunday morning, killing five people, according to online media Myanmar Now.

The news outlet posted video footage of the incident on Twitter, while it also cited two protesters and an eyewitness as sources.


48% of firms to raise wages even without more tax incentives: survey

TOKYO - Nearly half of Japanese firms will raise wages even without further tax incentives for company pay hikes that the government is planning to introduce next fiscal year, according to a survey by a credit research company.

The survey by Teikoku Databank Ltd. indicates that more managers are prioritizing higher wages to attract and retain workers amid the country's longtime labor shortage and rapidly graying population, although the economic outlook remains uncertain due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.