People cross a street in the dark in Kyiv on Nov. 24, 2022, after Russian air strikes caused power outages. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Envoy hopes S. Korea, Japan leaders' mutual visits to resume soon

TOKYO - South Korea's ambassador to Japan expressed hope that the countries' leaders can restart their reciprocal visits "sooner than expected," as both nations try to improve bilateral ties, damaged significantly by wartime labor issues.

In a recent interview with Kyodo News, Yun Duk Min touched on the potential resumption of what is known as "shuttle diplomacy," in which the leaders regularly visit each other's country, a practice that has been stalled since 2011.


Japan eyes using enemy base strike capability with U.S.

TOKYO - Japan is considering using an enemy base strike capability, or what it prefers to call "counterstrike capability," with its ally the United States, in the event it comes under attack, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.

Highlighting the need to obtain the capability in response to a worsening security environment, the government will also limit the targets of such attacks to "military" ones, but it may be loosely defined to include not only enemy bases but also other sites, such as command centers, the source said.


U.S. bans new telecom equipment from Huawei, ZTE due to security risk

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government said Friday it was banning the sale of new telecommunications equipment made by Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. as well as video surveillance equipment from some other firms, citing national security risks.

The latest move by the Federal Communications Commission reflects U.S. concerns that equipment produced by Chinese companies with potential ties to the Communist-led government may be used for espionage and other activities.


Major Japan utilities to face record amount of antitrust fines

TOKYO - Japan's trade watchdog is likely to impose a record amount of fines on several major utilities after finding they formed a cartel and obstructed the liberalization of the country's electricity market, sources close to the matter have said.

The companies including Chugoku Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co. will be ordered to pay surcharges totaling tens of billions of yen for violating the antimonopoly law, possibly the highest amount ever imposed by the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the sources said Friday.


Taiwanese head to polls in local elections, referendum

TAIPEI - Taiwanese began voting Saturday in local elections, with the results seen as a prelude to the 2024 presidential and legislative polls, while voters are also casting ballots in a referendum.

About 19 million voters will elect more than 11,000 local officials. In all, nine categories of elected office, ranging from mayors of six special municipal districts and smaller cities to county magistrates, are up for grabs in what is commonly known as the "nine-in-one" elections.


Protests held against "zero-COVID" policy as China sees record cases

BEIJING - Residents in various areas of China have protested against the nation's strict "zero-COVID" policy, according to videos shared on social media, as Beijing on Saturday reported a record number of infections for the third consecutive day.

The videos believed to have been taken in Urumqi, the capital of the far-western Xinjiang region, the southwestern city of Chongqing and Beijing went viral, with many comments sympathizing with the demonstrators posted. Some of the comments were later deleted.


Univ. of Tokyo to double no. of female professors by FY 2027

TOKYO - The University of Tokyo has said it aims to double its number of female professors and associate professors to around 400 by fiscal 2027 as it pushes for more diversity on campus.

Japan's leading university announced an action plan in fall 2021 in which it seeks to raise its ratio of female faculty members, including lecturers and assistant professors, from the current 16 percent to 25 percent or more.


Figure skating: Mihara 2nd after SP at Grand Prix in Finland

ESPOO, Finland - Japan's Mai Mihara achieved a personal-best 73.58 points in the women's short program Friday to sit second at the ISU's figure skating Grand Prix Espoo in Finland.

Compatriot Mana Kawabe is third on 67.03, and Rika Kihira sixth with 64.07. Belgium's Loena Hendrickx, the silver medalist at last season's world championships, won the short program with a 74.88.