The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday denied speculation that he is planning a Cabinet reshuffle after three of his ministers were forced out in less than a month, dealing a heavy blow to his government.
Kishida told reporters that his Cabinet intends to "focus on various political challenges," such as deliberations in the ongoing parliamentary session and working to revise three key defense documents by the end of the year.
DOHA - Japan claimed a famous 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup on Wednesday, with second-half substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scoring as part of a dramatic comeback in the tournament's Group E opener.
Doan, who plays for German club Freiburg, was in the right spot to slam home a rebound after fellow substitute Takumi Minamino whipped a ball into the goalmouth that German keeper Manuel Neuer could only parry.
TOKYO - The Bank of Japan plans to start testing the feasibility of a digital yen with major Japanese commercial banks next spring, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
The experiment, which will allow ordinary consumers to participate, is aimed at checking whether money deposits and withdrawals via bank accounts at commercial banks can be carried out smoothly with the use of a central bank digital currency, the sources said.
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to visit the United States in January for talks with President Joe Biden, government sources said Thursday, with deepening the bilateral security alliance likely to top the agenda.
The trip is being arranged for Jan. 7-9, or sometime around then, in what would be his first visit to Washington since taking office in October last year, the sources said.
Japan keeps economic recovery assessment in Nov. despite inflation
TOKYO - Japan on Thursday maintained its view that the economy is recovering moderately, as solid pent-up demand for services following the lifting of COVID-19 curbs continued to support private consumption despite accelerating inflation.
The Cabinet Office retained the assessment for the fifth straight month in its economic report for November, while continuing to warn of volatility in financial markets following the yen's sharp decline relative to the U.S. dollar.
MUFG to buy Asian units of Dutch consumer lender for 596 mil. euros
TOKYO - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. said Thursday it will acquire two Southeast Asian subsidiaries of Netherlands-based consumer finance company Home Credit B.V., located in the Philippines and Indonesia, for a total of about 596 million euros ($622 million).
The Japanese bank group, together with its local subsidiaries, will buy a 100 percent stake in HC Consumer Finance Philippines Inc. and hold an 85 percent share in PT Home Credit Indonesia, it said. The deal is expected to be completed in 2023.
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as prime minister Thursday after the palace named the former deputy prime minister the country's new leader following Saturday's general election that resulted in a hung parliament.
Anwar's multiethnic Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, is expected to form a government with the National Front coalition popularly known as BN, the former ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
OSAKA - Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co. said Thursday it has applied with the health ministry for approval of its novel coronavirus vaccine.
It has marked the first application of a COVID-19 vaccine developed in Japan. Only two days after the ministry granted emergency approval for its coronavirus oral drug Xocova, the first for a domestic drugmaker, Shionogi is now seeking authorization to manufacture and sell the recombinant protein-based vaccine.