A child is pictured in Lviv, western Ukraine, on March 12, 2022, after arriving there by train for evacuation amid the Russian invasion. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan asks crypto exchanges to halt deals subject to Russia sanctions

TOKYO - The Japanese government asked domestic cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday to halt transactions with Russian and Belarusian organizations and individuals sanctioned following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The request came after the Group of Seven leaders recently affirmed that Russia could not use such assets to elude sanctions, and it builds on Japan's current asset freezes of Russian and Belarusian individuals and organizations.


U.S. security adviser, top Chinese diplomat meet to discuss Ukraine

ROME - U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday met top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome, Italy's ANSA news agency said, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has entered its third week, resulting in a humanitarian crisis and rattled global markets.

Sullivan is likely to have pressed China not to help Russia by alleviating the impact of sanctions it is facing from the United States, Europe and other U.S. allies. But the prospect of a breakthrough coming from the meeting appears slim.


Japanese abductees' families ask U.S. envoy to help resolve issue

TOKYO - Families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s asked U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel on Monday to help resolve the longstanding issue, saying little time is left for the aging relatives.

Twelve members of the families' group pleaded their case in the roughly one-hour meeting at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Tokyo, with Emanuel vowing continued U.S. support in resolving the issue, according to the Japanese government.


34 people face charges over ex-minister's vote-buying in Hiroshima

TOKYO - Prosecutors indicted Monday a total of 34 individuals, including local assembly members in western Japan's Hiroshima Prefecture, over vote-buying by former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai for his wife in the 2019 upper house election, reversing their initial decision.

Kawai has been convicted of handing out a total of 28.7 million yen ($244,600) to 100 local assembly members and supporters in his wife Anri's constituency in Hiroshima in an attempt to buy votes.


Shenzhen placed under lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge in China

HONG KONG - China's major tech hub of Shenzhen on Monday came under a citywide lockdown in the face of rising coronavirus cases in the country's mainland and Hong Kong.

Shenzhen's 17 million residents have been asked to stay at home through March 20, during which the southern city, bordering Hong Kong, will carry out three rounds of mass testing and suspend public transport services, according to a local government notice.


Baseball: Shohei Ohtani reports for spring training ahead of delayed season

TEMPE, Arizona - Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani attended the team's spring training home in Arizona on Sunday to undergo a medical in preparation for the delayed MLB season.

The Angels will begin practicing Monday, around a month later than usual, after Major League Baseball players and owners agreed to terms on a new labor deal, ending the league's 99-day lockout.


"Drive My Car" wins British Academy award for non-English film

LONDON - Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's "Drive My Car" won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for a film not in the English language on Sunday, its latest international accolade in the run-up to the Oscars.

The film, based on a short story of the same title by novelist Haruki Murakami, has been nominated in four Oscar categories including best picture, becoming the first Japanese film to land the prestigious Oscar nomination.


Asian countries accumulate weapons as China tensions grow

LONDON - Some Asian and Oceanian nations are ramping up weapons purchases as they become increasingly wary of China's growing regional ambition, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showed Monday.

The report compared weapons transactions worldwide for the five years through 2021 to the previous five years through 2016. It showed that out of the top 10 arms importers, six were from Asia and Oceania.