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


Japan univ. entrance exam question may have leaked during testing

TOKYO - A photographed image of a unified university entrance exam question may have been leaked via a video calling app during testing earlier this month, prompting police to investigate the incident as a case of suspected cheating, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The incident came to light after a man who identified himself as a University of Tokyo student notified exam authorities that he had received the image of the question on a world history test via the Skype internet telephony app when the examination took place on Jan. 15, the sources said.


Outpatient clinics overstretched amid rapid spread of Omicron

TOKYO - The surge in people infected with the coronavirus amid the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant is causing apprehension at outpatient clinics, generally the first stop for individuals to check if they have the virus.

Doctors say they are stretched almost to breaking point and that seeing more patients has become increasingly difficult. Japan reported a record 62,610 new infections on Tuesday, topping 60,000 for the first time.


Ukraine envoy seeks more Japan role in efforts to ease tension

TOKYO - Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky said Wednesday he wants Japan to get more involved in multinational efforts to ease growing military tensions over the Russian military buildup along its border with his country.

Korsunsky told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo that he expects Japan to "join" the Group of Seven industrialized nations' efforts "to resolve the issue to avoid military confrontation and to support Ukrainian democratic development in a peaceful manner."


Tokyo reports record 14,086 daily coronavirus cases

TOKYO - Tokyo confirmed 14,086 daily coronavirus cases Wednesday, setting a new record high as the more transmissible Omicron variant spreads rapidly across Japan.

The tally eclipsed the previous record high of 12,813 logged the previous day.


Japan to flag underpriced IPOs as antitrust law violation

TOKYO - The Japan Fair Trade Commission will warn brokerage firms that underpricing initial public offerings on the stock exchange may violate the antimonopoly law, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The JFTC is expected to warn against the practice in a report to be released soon in a bid to help newly listed companies access sufficient funding through the market. In Japan, share prices on the first day of trading often greatly exceed IPO prices, with the arbitrage larger than that seen in Europe and the United States.


BOJ members see inflation moving toward 2% target, wage growth key

TOKYO - Bank of Japan board members said core consumer inflation will likely move toward the bank's target of 2 percent and believe the trend can continue if wages grow, a summary of opinions at a January monetary policy meeting showed Wednesday.

Still, the goal is to ensure core consumer prices rise above 2 percent in a "stable" manner and the current aggressive monetary easing should be maintained, some members said, shooting down expectations of a policy change in line with the United States and Europe that are moving toward policy normalization to counter accelerating inflation.


Pfizer starts clinical study on safety of Omicron-targeted vaccine

WASHINGTON - U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE said Tuesday they are starting a clinical study to evaluate the safety of an experimental vaccine targeting the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The study will be conducted in adults aged 18 to 55 and will involve up to 1,420 participants.


Football: Japan confident despite injury absence of key defensive pair

TOKYO - Japan will head into Thursday's World Cup qualifier against China with confidence, despite the regular center-half pairing of captain Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu being sidelined through injury, manager Hajime Moriyasu said.

Sampdoria's Yoshida was not picked for the clash at Saitama Stadium, while Arsenal's Tomiyasu withdrew after hurting his hamstring in his club's League Cup loss to Liverpool last week, but Moriyasu said Wednesday the other center-backs in the squad were up to the task.