Children holds copies of an extra edition of Iwate Nippo newspaper, circulated in Iwate Prefecture, in front of JR Yurakucho Station in Tokyo on Aug. 10, 2022, after Los Angeles Angels pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani earned his 10th win of the season in a game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, California, the previous day, making him the first player with double-digit home runs as a batter and wins as a pitcher in a single Major League Baseball season since Hall of Famer Babe Ruth in 1918. Ohtani hails from the northeastern Japan prefecture. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Xi decided to let missiles fall in Japan EEZ during Taiwan drills

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping decided himself to let ballistic missiles launched by the military during recent large-scale drills near Taiwan fall in Japan's exclusive economic zone to deter Tokyo's interference in any cross-strait contingency, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The large-scale exercises began on Aug. 4 as part of China's fierce response to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit earlier last week to the self-ruled island, which Beijing views as a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.


Kishida Cabinet's support rate up to 54% after reshuffle: Kyodo poll

TOKYO - The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet rose to 54.1 percent, after a reshuffling aimed at reviving sagging public support amid intense scrutiny over his ruling party's links with a controversial religious group, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

The support rate in the two-day nationwide telephone survey from Wednesday, when the Cabinet was reshuffled, came after its approval rating dropped to a worst-ever 51.0 percent in the previous poll conducted on July 30 and 31.


Japan's summer holidays in full swing with lack of COVID restrictions

TOKYO - Japan's summer holiday season started in full swing on Thursday, with reservations for domestic trains and flights leaving Tokyo reaching a peak as travelers took advantage of a lack of coronavirus restrictions for the first time in three years.

While more people headed abroad for their break, numbers are nevertheless far below the pre-COVID-19 era as new cases across the country remain elevated, hitting record highs in recent weeks.


N. Korea declares anti-COVID fight victory, Kim may have caught virus

BEIJING - Leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory in North Korea's fight against the coronavirus and ordered an easing of "maximum emergency" measures imposed in May, official media reported Thursday, with his sister suggesting he may have caught the virus himself.

Kim made the announcement at a meeting with health officials and scientists on Wednesday, praising their contributions to "successfully defusing the serious epidemic spread crisis" and defending the country's "social system which is the best in the world," according to the Korean Central News Agency.


FEATURE: Full-size Shibuya scramble replica making the impossible possible

ASHIKAGA, Japan - Those wondering how the Netflix sci-fi thriller "Alice in Borderland" was able to completely empty of life one of the world's busiest pedestrian crossings will find their answer around 90 kilometers from the real thing, in quiet Tochigi Prefecture suburbia.

Ashikaga Scramble City Studio, built in 2019 by Tokyo-based visual arts company Nouvelle Vague Co., is a roughly 6,600-square meter open set that replicates the famous Shibuya scramble intersection in true-to-life size.


Prices set to rise in Japan for over 10,000 food items on weak yen

TOKYO - Food prices will continue to surge in Japan for the latter half of 2022, with more than 10,000 items set to rise in price from August onward as import costs of materials become more expensive due to a weaker yen, according to a survey by a credit research company.

The Teikoku Databank survey found prices of 2,431 items are scheduled to rise in August, with hikes for 8,043 more items planned for later this year.


FOCUS: Japan's revamped Cabinet still needs to flesh out new capitalism push

TOKYO - A drop in public support has come as a jolt to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has yet to deliver on his promise to create a new form of capitalism.

Economic growth is a prerequisite for Kishida's goal to spread more wealth among the public. But accelerating inflation in Japan, blamed on Russia's war in Ukraine, has already begun to hit households while wages are not rising much, threatening to cloud the outlook for the world's third-largest economy.


U.S. charges Iranian over plot to murder ex-security adviser Bolton

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday it has charged a member of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly plotting to murder former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Beginning in October 2021, Shahram Poursafi, a 45-year-old Iranian, attempted to arrange the murder of Bolton, likely in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in January 2020. Bolton was adviser to then U.S. President Donald Trump and is known for his tough stance on Tehran.