Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (L) and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hold talks on May 13, 2022, in Weissenhaus, Germany. (Photo courtesy of Japan's Foreign Ministry)(Kyodo)

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


Peace march held in Okinawa ahead of 50th anniv. of return to Japan

NAHA, Japan - A peace march calling for the burden on Okinawa from hosting U.S. forces to be reduced was held Saturday in the southern island prefecture, a day before the 50th anniversary of its reversion to Japan.

For the first time since taking office in October last year, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Okinawa to mark the anniversary.


G-7 to agree on need to impose additional sanctions on Russia

WEISSENHAUS, Germany - Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major developed nations are expected to say Saturday they are prepared to roll out additional economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine when they wrap up a three-day meeting in Germany.

The top diplomats from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, will also affirm their unity in support for the Ukrainian people and nearby nations hosting refugees, according to Japanese government officials.


Kim says N. Korea facing upheaval as 21 new COVID-19 deaths confirmed

BEIJING - North Korea on Saturday reported 21 new deaths of those who were suspected of having been infected with the novel coronavirus, prompting leader Kim Jong Un to say that the nation is in the greatest upheaval since its founding in 1948.

The official Korean Central News Agency said more than 174,440 people had fever on Friday, underscoring that the virus has been drastically spreading since the country held nationwide events on the occasion of anniversaries in April, including a vast military parade.


U.S., ASEAN leaders vow to upgrade ties this year amid China's rise

WASHINGTON - The leaders of the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Friday declared that they will elevate their relationship to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" later this year amid China's growing clout in the region.

China has preceded the United States in upgrading its relations with the 10-member group to a similar status, and the latest development reflects intensifying competition between Beijing and Washington for influence in the fast-growing Southeast Asian region.


Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record

TOKYO - Japan granted refugee status to 74 people seeking asylum in 2021, the highest level since it began recognizing refugees in 1982, the immigration agency said Friday.

While the number jumped from 27 in 2020, it remains significantly lower than in the West, where some countries accept more than 10,000 refugees annually.


Japan, Ukraine top diplomats agree to keep strong sanctions on Russia

WEISSENHAUS, Germany - The foreign ministers of Japan and Ukraine agreed Friday that the international community should remain united in maintaining strong sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, now in its third month with the war showing no signs of easing.

During talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Weissenhaus, northern Germany, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Russia must be "held accountable over its atrocities," calling its actions "unacceptable," the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


Football: China abandons plan to host 2023 Asian Cup

TOKYO - China has pulled out of hosting next year's Asian Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation said Saturday.

"Following extensive discussions with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the AFC has been officially informed by the CFA that it would not be able to host the AFC Asian Cup," a statement read.