Kumamon, the official black bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, poses in an office that opened in Tokyo's Yaesu business district on Sept. 21, 2022, to promote the southwestern Japan prefecture through its activities. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan conducts yen-buying intervention for 1st time in 24 years

TOKYO - Japan on Thursday stepped into the currency market amid the yen's abrupt fall, the Finance Ministry said, in its first intervention to prop up the currency in 24 years, as rising import costs have been dragging down the country's household and corporate sectors.

The surprise market operation comes as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been urged to take measures to alleviate the negative impact of price hikes, with the public support rating for his Cabinet decreasing recently.


BOJ decides to maintain ultralow rate policy despite sharp yen slide

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan on Thursday maintained its ultralow rate policy to support the pandemic-hit economy as widely expected, sticking to a dovish stance despite the yen's sharp decline in a global policy-tightening wave triggered by surging inflation.

After the policy decision, the yen breached the psychologically important 145 level versus the U.S. dollar, and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda ruled out rate hikes in the near future. To stop the yen's relentless slide, Japan intervened in the currency market by buying the yen for dollars for the first time in 1998.


Japan asks foreign guests to wear face masks at Abe's state funeral

TOKYO - Japan will ask foreign guests attending the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week to wear protective face masks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the top government spokesman said Thursday.

"We will call for foreign dignitaries and other attendees to wear face masks and take infection prevention measures, such as preparing disinfectant, on the day of the state funeral," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.


U.S. dollar plunges to 140 yen from 145 yen after Japan's intervention

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar briefly plunged by around five yen to the 140 yen range on Thursday after the Japanese government stepped into the market to support the Japanese currency, its first such intervention in 24 years.

The U.S. currency was trading at a fresh 24-year high in the upper 145 yen range after the Bank of Japan decided to maintain its monetary easing policy at the end of its regular meeting Thursday.


U.N.-backed tribunal upholds life sentence for ex-Khmer Rouge leader

PHNOM PENH - A U.N.-backed tribunal in Cambodia trying former Khmer Rouge leaders over the 1970s genocide in the country upheld Thursday a lower-court sentence of life imprisonment against Khieu Samphan, the radical communist regime's former head of state.

Thursday's decision was the final judgment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which has adopted a two-tier trial system. With no one else being tried, it marks the end of the judicial process launched in 2006 to bring to justice perpetrators of the 1975-1979 reign of terror that is believed to have claimed nearly 2 million lives.


SoftBank to hold tie-up talks with Samsung over chip designer Arm

TOKYO - SoftBank Group Corp. said Thursday it will hold talks with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. on a possible strategic tie-up over Arm Ltd., a British chip designer under the Japanese technology conglomerate, to accelerate its smartphone chip business.

SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said he will visit South Korea to hold discussions with Samsung, a major manufacturer of smartphones, displays, chips and batteries.


Taiwan, Czech Republic vow deeper cooperation amid China tensions

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen agreed with a delegation led by Czech Sen. Jiri Drahos on Thursday to deepen cooperation in semiconductors, medicine and science and technology amid tensions between China and the self-ruled island.

Tsai told Drahos, a former president of the Czech Academy of Sciences, that the delegation's visit soon after Chinese military exercises around Taiwan "shows an unwavering friendship that comes from like-minded countries supporting each other."


Japan holds 1st tourism expo in 2 yrs to aid virus-hit industry

TOKYO - A large international tourism event kicked off Thursday in Japan for the first time in two years, with the travel industry hoping to overcome setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic as the country gradually eases its border restrictions.

Tourism Expo Japan, one of the biggest events of its kind in the world, opened at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center, with representatives from more than 70 countries and regions, and Japan's 47 prefectures promoting international and domestic travel after it was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.