Carp streamers flutter in the wind over the Hino River in Kofu in Tottori Prefecture, western Japan, on April 30, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Russia bans entry of Japan PM, ministers

TOKYO - Russia said Wednesday it will ban the entry of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and many of his Cabinet members as part of Moscow's punitive measures against Tokyo's response to the war in Ukraine.

The entry ban, announced by Russia's Foreign Ministry, targets 63 Japanese citizens, also including Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.


Japan PM Kishida, Pope Francis agree to aim for abolishment of nuclear arms

ROME - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Pope Francis agreed Wednesday to aim for a world free of nuclear weapons as Russia's war against Ukraine poses a serious threat to global security.

The visit to the Vatican by the leader of the only country to suffer the devastation of atomic bombings came as Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised fears he may use nuclear weapons as the war drags on.


North Korea fires ballistic missile toward Sea of Japan

TOKYO - North Korea fired a ballistic missile eastward on Wednesday, the Japanese government said, with the missile falling into the Sea of Japan off the North's eastern coast.

The missile, fired at around 12:02 p.m. from near North Korea's western coast, is believed to have traveled to an altitude of around 800 kilometers and covered a distance of around 500 km before falling into waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, senior vice defense minister Makoto Oniki told reporters.


S. Korea president-elect eyes Yun Duk Min as envoy to Japan: source

SEOUL - South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol plans to appoint Yun Duk Min, a former head of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy who is known for his knowledge of Japan, as new ambassador to the country, a source close to the matter said Wednesday.

The 62-year-old obtained a doctoral degree at Japan's Keio University and is proficient in Japanese. He is also an expert on diplomatic and security affairs, including North Korea.


Japan's child population falls for 41st year, record low amid pandemic

TOKYO - Japan's estimated child population fell for the 41st straight year to a record low, government data showed Wednesday, as women are believed to have refrained from having children due to the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

The number of children aged 14 or younger, including foreigners, stood at 14.65 million as of April 1, down about 250,000 from a year earlier and the lowest figure since 1950 when comparable data became available, according to the data released by the internal affairs ministry.


Norman Mineta, 1st Asian American Cabinet secretary in U.S., dies at 90

WASHINGTON - Norman Mineta, who was the first Asian American ever to serve as a U.S. Cabinet secretary and who in childhood had been incarcerated during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, died Tuesday at his home in Maryland, his former aide said. He was 90.

During his over 20 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mineta worked to address the country's historical injustice of having forced some 120,000 Japanese Americans into wartime internment camps.


IOC to inspect proposed 2030 Sapporo Olympics venues this month

TOKYO - The International Olympic Committee will conduct inspections at the end of this month of venues the Sapporo Olympic organizers intend to use if the city is selected to host the 2030 Winter Games, a source with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.

IOC staff will visit venues in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to check on their current operating conditions and sizes in order for the IOC's winter Future Host Commission, charged with identifying host cities, to compile the materials and documents it needs.


FOCUS: Myanmar shadow gov't seeks to engage Japan despite geopolitical bind

TOKYO - Myanmar's shadow civilian leadership, the National Unity Government, has established a presence in Japan as part of efforts to restore the democratically-elected administration of Aung San Suu Kyi which was overthrown in a February 2021 military coup.

Some Japanese lawmakers are rallying behind the NUG, though Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government has yet to recognize it for fear that antagonizing the junta would push it into the embrace of Beijing at a time when the rivalry between China and the United States in the Indo-Pacific is intensifying.