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


Kishida, Biden agree to boost alliance amid Ukraine war, China worries

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to boost the strength and deterrence of their nations' alliance Monday in Tokyo as Russia's war in Ukraine has increased uncertainties in the region facing China's growing assertiveness and North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

Following their first in-person, sit-down meeting, Kishida said at a joint press conference the two leaders "reaffirmed that any attempt to change the status quo by force is absolutely impermissible, regardless of the location," and they oppose such attempts in the East and South China seas.


U.S. launches Indo-Pacific economic framework in pushback to China

TOKYO - U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday launched an Indo-Pacific economic initiative joined by a dozen countries including Japan, setting the stage for deeper engagement in the fast-growing region where China is expanding its clout.

The Indo-Pacific economic framework, or IPEF, is touted by the United States as a "21st-century economic arrangement" that will tackle new challenges ranging from setting standards for the digital economy, ensuring secure supply chains and helping make major investments for clean energy transition.


U.S. committed to defense of Taiwan in event of China invasion: Biden

TOKYO - The United States is committed to defending Taiwan if China attempts to seize the self-ruled island by force, President Joe Biden said Monday, in what seems as a shift from Washington's long-standing policy to keep its stance ambiguous.

Asked by a reporter if the United States is willing to get involved militarily in a Taiwan contingency, Biden told a press conference after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, "Yes. That's the commitment we made."


Sunken tour boat raised to near surface off Hokkaido after 1 month

SAPPORO - A sunken sightseeing boat was pulled up to near the surface of the sea off Hokkaido on Monday, one month after it went down off eastern Hokkaido in rough weather, leaving 14 people dead and 12 others missing.

A barge operated by Nippon Salvage Co. raised the 19-ton Kazu I from the depths of about 120 meters using wire, after, according to the coast guard, three divers went to the sea bottom inside a capsule and worked with the wire in an operation known as deepwater diving.


Japan, U.S. to deepen economic security ties amid supply disruptions

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed Monday to deepen economic security cooperation to strengthen supply chains for critical commodities, such as strategically important chips, amid global shortages.

The two leaders in a meeting in Tokyo confirmed bolstering semiconductor manufacturing capacity and diversification, as well as collaboration on advanced battery supply chains and resiliency of those for critical minerals.


Japan to host G-7 summit in Hiroshima to send message of peace

TOKYO - Japan will host a 2023 summit of the Group of Seven nations in Hiroshima, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday, believing the city, devastated by the world's first atomic bomb attack, is a fitting choice to send a message of peace.

The move was backed by U.S. President Joe Biden, who met with Kishida earlier in the day in Tokyo on the second leg of his trip to Asia. Their summit was held against the backdrop of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the growing threat of Moscow resorting to the use of atomic weapons.


N. Korea's Kim chairs state funeral for military official amid virus

BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday chaired a large state funeral for a top military official, state-run media reported Monday, as the country struggles to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Korean Central Television broadcast video footage of more than 1,000 military officers and soldiers attending the farewell for Hyon Chol Hae, marshal of the Korean People's Army and general adviser to the Ministry of National Defense, who died last Thursday.


Emperor Naruhito meets U.S. President Biden in Tokyo

TOKYO - Japanese Emperor Naruhito met U.S. President Joe Biden at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo Monday, with the emperor expressing hope for further promoting Japan-U.S. relations as the U.S. leader continues his first visit to the country since taking office.

In the 30-minute meeting, Biden told the emperor the two countries have a strong bond and that Japan is its most important partner in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Imperial Household Agency.