People light candles on a path leading to Okunoin temple during a candle festival in the Wakayama Prefecture town of Koya, western Japan, on Aug. 13, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


U.S. Vice President Harris to attend slain ex-Japan PM Abe's state funeral

WASHINGTON - U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris plans to attend a state funeral for slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next month in Tokyo, a diplomatic source said Sunday.

Her visit to Japan for the Sept. 27 ceremony will be her first since she was sworn in as vice president under President Joe Biden in January 2021.


Travelers returning from Japan's summer break crowd trains, airports

TOKYO - Japanese train stations, airports and expressways were crowded Sunday as the majority of travelers returned from their summer vacation.

Although many visited their hometowns or elsewhere for the first summer holiday season in three years without COVID-19 restrictions on domestic travel in place, the operators of some transport networks reported sluggish sales as the country continues to grapple with a seventh wave of infections.


Olympic scandals put marketing giant Dentsu's business in spotlight

TOKYO - Allegations of corruption in Olympic sponsorships involving former Dentsu director Haruyuki Takahashi have put the firm's overwhelming grip on Japan's sports marketing sector in the spotlight.

Through its role as the exclusive agent, Dentsu secured a record of around 370 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in marketing revenue for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee, where Takahashi was an executive.


Leadership race for opposition Japan Innovation Party begins

TOKYO - Three candidates entered the race for the leadership of the Japan Innovation Party on Sunday to succeed Ichiro Matsui, as the party steps up efforts to become the country's biggest opposition force after significantly increasing its parliamentary seats in the last two national elections.

The conservative party's co-leader Nobuyuki Baba is seen as the most likely winner of the Aug. 27 election, ahead of the other candidates Yasushi Adachi and Mizuho Umemura.


FOCUS: Tofu shops facing fight for survival amid rising costs

TOKYO - Many tofu shops in Japan are struggling amid higher prices for imported soybeans following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, although demand remains solid for the Japanese staple.

A tofu shop run by Takashi Kurosawa in Tokyo's Minato Ward is among the around 42 percent of medium-sized and small stores that remained in the red in the fiscal year ended March, with 47 percent incurring losses in the previous year, according to a recent survey by credit research firm Teikoku Databank Ltd.


Japan public elementary school offers rare English-immersion program

NAGOYA - An elementary school in a central Japan city has been offering an English-immersion program, a rare move for a public elementary school.

With the exception of international schools and private schools that offer lessons in English, the use of the language is limited at Japanese public elementary schools. Many schools start teaching English from third grade, and English classes became mandatory for fifth and sixth grades from fiscal 2020.


China, Japan share love of dinosaurs, Doraemon at exchange event

BEIJING - About 150 Chinese children, their parents and others shared their love of dinosaurs in a recent exchange event held at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, which featured the screening of a popular animation Doraemon movie and a scholar inspired by its main character.

After the participants saw the film "Nobita's Dinosaur 2006," Xing Lida, 39, an associate professor at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, explained that his impression of the cartoon led him to name a footprint fossil of a new species of dinosaur discovered in China after the pivotal character.


Typhoon Meari makes landfall on Japan's Pacific coast

TOKYO - Typhoon Meari made landfall on the Izu Peninsula on Japan's Pacific coast close to Tokyo on Saturday, causing disruptions to the roads and train and air services during the peak summer holiday season, the weather agency said.

The agency has warned of disasters including potential landslides, flooding in low-lying areas, overflowing rivers, strong winds and high waves.