People holding parasols walk under mist showers in Tokyo's Ginza shopping area on June 28, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan, S. Korea leaders briefly chat in person for 1st time

MADRID - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol spoke briefly Tuesday in Madrid, both governments said, in their first face-to-face encounter amid chilly ties over wartime issues.

The conversation took place on the fringes of a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the two leaders are attending, keeping hopes alive for a thaw in bilateral relations under Yoon, who became president in May with a pledge to take a "future-oriented" approach.


U.S. vows to bolster military presence in Europe amid Russia threat

MADRID - The United States will enhance its military presence in Europe as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization seeks to beef up its defense in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

Noting that the total number of U.S. troops in Europe has been raised by over 20,000 to more than 100,000 in response to the Ukraine crisis, Biden said at the NATO summit that started the same day in Madrid, "We're going to continue to adjust our postures based on the threat, in close consultation with our allies here."


Toyota domestic output drops on parts crunch due to Shanghai lockdown

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its domestic output in May fell 28.5 percent from a year earlier to 144,204 vehicles, declining for the third straight month due to a global chip shortage and a parts supply crunch caused by a COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.

The rate of decline was the biggest since January when domestic output fell 32.2 percent from the previous year, the major Japanese automaker said.


FOCUS: Rising prices key focus in election but no party has silver bullet

TOKYO - As prices of necessity goods such as food and electricity soar following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, political parties in Japan are struggling to present immediate solutions as they head into the July 10 election for the upper chamber of parliament.

Since Japan is a resource-importing country, surging energy prices and rapid falls of the yen against the U.S. dollar are two major factors driving up prices, which voters believe has become the most pressing election issue.


S. Korea mulls fund for wartime labor during Japanese rule: reports

SEOUL - The South Korean government is considering setting up a fund worth 30 billion won ($23 million) to provide money to plaintiffs in lawsuits over wartime labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, according to local media reports.

A Seoul Shinmun report on Tuesday said the fund, which would be raised from South Korean and Japanese corporations, is planned to resolve the issue of compensation for the plaintiffs in a bid to improve soured bilateral relations.


S. Korea, Japan resume flights between capitals as COVID-19 eases

SEOUL - Flights between the capitals of South Korea and Japan resumed Wednesday after being suspended for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Four airlines from the two countries -- Korean Air and Asiana Airlines of South Korea and Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways -- started operating a total of eight round trips a week through the route between Seoul's Gimpo airport and Tokyo's Haneda airport.


Renesas ties up with India's Tata Motors to develop automotive chips

TOKYO - Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. said Wednesday it has partnered with Indian automaker Tata Motors Ltd. to develop and manufacture semiconductors for use in electric and connected vehicles.

Renesas has also tied up with Tejas Networks Ltd., a data network company of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, for designing and developing chips for next-generation 5G wireless networks, according to the Japanese company.


Philippines revokes license of independent news site Rappler

MANILA - The Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission has revoked the business license of Rappler, a digital media company known for its critical coverage of the government of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and for its co-founder Maria Ressa, a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner.

The commission said in a statement Wednesday it revoked the license Tuesday as Rappler had granted a foreign investor control over the media company, violating the Constitution.