A man sits on a box on a parked truck on an extremely hot day in Beijing on July 14, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan's Cabinet OKs 249 mil. yen to pay for Abe state funeral

TOKYO - Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a 249 million yen ($1.8 million) allocation to pay for the controversial state funeral next month of slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

As the public remains divided over Abe's political legacy and scandals, the Cabinet has no plan to urge ministries and related agencies to extend condolences at the time when the funeral will be held on Sept. 27.


Japan approves 133 Afghan refugees since Taliban's return to power

TOKYO - Japan has granted refugee status to 133 people who have fled Afghanistan in the year since the Taliban returned to power last August, Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi said Friday.

The number includes 98 people granted the status this month who worked at the Japanese Embassy in Kabul and their families, he said in a press conference. The 133 approvals by the Japanese government, which has a stringent refugee screening policy, far exceed the all-time high of 74 people granted asylum in 2021.


Japan says S. Korea working to solve wartime labor compensation row

TOKYO - South Korea is working toward a resolution of the long-pending issue of wartime labor compensation that has soured bilateral relations, a senior official of Japan's Foreign Ministry said Friday, ahead of an impending court ruling in Seoul over the envisioned liquidation of Japanese corporate assets.

The official told reporters that he could see "efforts were being made by Yoon Suk Yeol's administration" following a meeting in Tokyo between Takehiro Funakoshi, director general of the ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and his South Korean counterpart Lee Sang Ryeol, but did not elaborate.


Power utility Jera to keep buying LNG from Russia's Sakhalin 2 project

TOKYO - Jera Co., Japan's leading power generation company, said Friday it has agreed to keep purchasing liquefied natural gas from the Sakhalin 2 project in Russia.

Jera, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and Chubu Electric Power Co., signed the procurement deal Thursday with the project's new operator, set up this month under a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Main opposition revamps executive lineup after July election defeat

TOKYO - Japan's main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan revamped its executive lineup Friday, seeking to turn around the party's fortunes following its loss in the July upper house election.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, 69, was named secretary general, while former health minister Akira Nagatsuma, 62, became policy chief and former Finance Minister Jun Azumi, 60, was appointed Diet affairs chief. Former prime ministerial special adviser Hiroshi Ogushi, 56, is now election campaign chief.


S. Korea strikes nuclear power plant export deal, 1st in 13 years

SEOUL - South Korea announced Thursday it has struck a deal to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, its first such contract in 13 years.

Under the deal worth 3 trillion won ($2.25 billion), a South Korean company will reportedly supply the equipment and a Russian firm will be in charge of constructing the reactors at Egypt's first nuclear power plant in the northern city of El Dabaa.


FEATURE: Sake brewers building brand cachet by cultivating bespoke rice crops

NAGOYA - Japanese brewers are gaining visibility by cultivating their own rice crops, using local grains to promote the unique characteristics of their regional sakes amid a surge in popularity of rice wine overseas.

The change is unusual as sake breweries normally procure raw rice from farms around the country. In early July, workers at Shibata Brewery Co. removed weeds by hand from rice paddies adjacent to its brewery in a mountainous region called "Kanzui," literally "God's water," on the outskirts of Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.


Badminton: Women's doubles duo "Nagamatsu" into semifinals at worlds

TOKYO - Japan's Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto took another step toward reclaiming the women's doubles crown at the BWF World Championships, beating South Korea's Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan 21-13, 19-21, 21-12 in Friday's quarterfinals.

The Japanese sixth seeds needed 60 minutes to dispatch their third-seeded opponents at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and book a semifinal rematch with China's reigning world champions and top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan.