U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets the press during a visit to Tokyo's Zojoji temple after attending the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 27, 2022. (Pool photo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan, China mark 50 yrs since normalization of ties amid tensions

TOKYO/BEIJING - Japanese and Chinese leaders exchanged messages to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties on Thursday, with little mood for a grand celebration as tensions remain over a territorial row and a deepening rift between Beijing and Western nations over Taiwan.

The messages from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping were read out at an event hosted in the afternoon by the Japan Business Federation, the country's most powerful business lobby better known as Keidanren.


Japan's lower house chief admits links with dubious religious group

TOKYO - Japan's lower house chief admitted Thursday to having had some connection with the Unification Church, amid growing calls for him to explain his suspicious ties with the controversial religious group.

Hiroyuki Hosoda, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said in a statement that he delivered speeches twice at ceremonies and took part in two other gatherings between 2018 and 2019, all of which were hosted by the church or affiliated groups.


U.S. vice president visits DMZ in wake of North Korean missile tests

SEOUL - U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday visited the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas a day after Pyongyang test-fired ballistic missiles, in a show of Washington's commitment to the defense of the South.

Before winding up her four-day trip to Japan and South Korea with the visit to the zone, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Harris denounced North Korea for its flurry of missile tests.


Japan eyes new package to fight inflation, weak yen, rev up economy

TOKYO - A new economic package to be drawn up next month will focus on mitigating the blow from rising prices and a weaker yen, spurring wage growth and revitalizing the economy through investment, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday.

In addition to "bold measures" focusing on the three priority areas, the package would also include launching a new mechanism to help cope with higher electricity bills amid surging natural gas prices caused by Russia's war in Ukraine, Kishida told reporters, adding that the details have yet to be worked out.


Myanmar's Suu Kyi, Australian adviser given 3-year prison sentences

YANGON - A special court set up by Myanmar's military on Thursday sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her former economic adviser, Australian Sean Turnell, to three years in prison for violation of the Official Secrets Act, local media reports said.

Since the military ousted Suu Kyi's democratically elected government in a February 2021 coup and detained her, she has been on trial on multiple charges and now faces 23 years in prison.


Taiwan hoping to boost ties with Japan as anniv. marked with China

TAIPEI - Taiwan expressed hope to strengthen security and economic cooperation with Japan on Thursday, the day Tokyo marked the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the self-ruled island and Japan are "friends who share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law," even though formal diplomatic ties were severed half a century ago.


Probe confirms ex-female Japan defense forces member was sexually assaulted

TOKYO - Japan's Defense Ministry on Thursday apologized to a former female member of the Ground Self-Defense Force after an internal probe confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted by colleagues.

The investigation found that Rina Gonoi, 23, had been subjected to sexual harassment, including sexually explicit comments, on a daily basis, and been the victim of other forms of abuse from fall 2020 through August last year, including being pushed down during training.


Soccer: Japan women to play England in Nov. friendly

TOKYO - Japan will take on England in a women's friendly match on Nov. 11 in Spain, the Japan Football Association said Thursday.

The 11th-ranked Nadeshiko Japan will face the fourth-ranked England, who won the European Championship in the summer, in Murcia as both teams step up their preparations for the World Cup next summer in Australia and New Zealand.