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


Kishida Cabinet's approval rating at 55.9%, down 4.1 points: Kyodo poll

TOKYO - The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 55.9 percent, down 4.1 points from the previous survey in December, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, as Japan grapples with recent surges in COVID-19 infections driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The two-day telephone survey through Sunday found the disapproval rate was up 2.5 points to 25.2 percent and also showed that 89.7 percent plan to refrain from dining and traveling in the wake of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.


McDonald's potato imports disruption spurs french fries "war" in Japan

TOKYO - The recent rationing of french fries by McDonald's Co. (Japan) due to a disruption of potato imports is spurring competitors to seize a bigger share of the market, triggering what social media users have called "a potato war."

The operator of McDonald's restaurants in Japan has said it will only offer smaller portions of its french fries for about a month from Jan. 9 at all of its around 2,900 stores nationwide. It is the second time in two months that the company has restricted sales of the popular item.


Sumo: Mitakeumi makes case for ozeki promotion with 3rd championship

TOKYO - Sekiwake Mitakeumi won the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday, beating yokozuna Terunofuji to capture his third career championship and earn consideration for promotion to ozeki.

Needing a win to avoid a three-way championship playoff with the yokozuna and No. 6 maegashira Abi, Mitakeumi defeated Terunofuji (11-4) for just the fifth time in 17 career bouts, forcing him out for his 13th win in the 15-day tourney at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.


NEC to provide coating service on PCs to combat COVID

TOKYO - NEC Corp. will start providing a coating service for business operators from late February to counteract the coronavirus on personal computers.

The new service will reduce users' burden of sanitizing the devices, as the glass coating will remain effective for around five years, according to the major Japanese technology company.


Ex-Malaysian PM Mahathir readmitted to hospital but stable: kin

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been readmitted to a hospital and is being treated at an intensive care unit, but he is in stable condition, his daughter said Saturday.

The 96-year-old two-time prime minister, who had been discharged last week following surgery, was admitted to the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Marina Mahathir said.


Figure skating: Mihara wins 2nd Four Continents title on best total

TOKYO - Japan's Mai Mihara won her second Four Continents Figure Skating Championships title on Saturday with a personal best total score of 218.03 points after finishing top in the free skate to retain her lead from the short program in Tallinn, Estonia.

Mihara had a near-perfect free skate before her spin at the end of the program was shorter than originally planned, but that did not stop the 22-year-old from scoring 145.41 and securing victory at the tournament she first won in 2017.