Parrot Olivia picks up a tiny Japanese flag at an event held at Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, on Dec. 4, 2022, to predict the winner of the upcoming World Cup round of 16 football match between Japan and Croatia. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan plans to almost triple missile defense units in remote islands

TOKYO - Japan is considering almost tripling the number of units in its Self-Defense Forces equipped with ballistic missile interception capabilities in the country's remote southwestern islands by the end of fiscal 2031, a draft of the plan has shown.

The plan is expected to be included in the government's National Defense Program Guidelines, a 10-year defense buildup policy to be updated by the end of the year, as the nation focuses on boosting its defense capabilities in southwest Japan, a strategically important area in light of the Chinese military's muscle-flexing in the East China Sea.


G-7, Australia price cap takes effect to hit Russian oil revenue

WASHINGTON - A price cap on Russian crude oil agreed by the Group of Seven nations and Australia took effect Monday in the latest effort to squeeze Moscow's key source of revenue for its ongoing war in Ukraine.

The price cap was set at $60 per barrel by the G-7 members -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union -- and Australia as they seek to punish Russia while not triggering major supply disruptions. But Moscow could retaliate by reducing supplies, possibly destabilizing markets.



Japan eyes around 43 tril. yen defense spending for next 5 years

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aims to boost the country's defense budget to about 43 trillion yen ($318 billion) from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2027, an over 50 percent increase from its current five-year spending plan, ministers said Monday.

The figure is up from around 27.47 trillion yen that Japan had originally planned for five years through the fiscal year from April 2023, in view of the deteriorating regional security environment amid mounting security threats from China and North Korea.

Japan city accuses nursery school head of covering up toddler abuse

SHIZUOKA, Japan - The central Japan city of Susono on Monday filed a criminal complaint accusing the head of a nursery school of trying to cover up the alleged abuse of toddlers in its care, the city's mayor said.

The complaint against school head Toshihiko Sakurai came as three female former teachers were sent to prosecutors Monday by police after being arrested Sunday on suspicion of committing abuses in June such as hitting toddlers and hanging them upside down by their feet.


N. Korea fires 130 artillery shells off east, west coasts: S. Korea

SEOUL - South Korea's military said Monday it detected North Korea firing about 130 artillery shells off its east and west coasts in a violation of a 2018 inter-Korean agreement designed to reduce border tensions.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the shots were fired from about 2:59 p.m. from Kangwon Province and South Hwanghae Province areas toward the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea, respectively.


China EV giant BYD's 1st passenger car in Japan available late Jan.

TOKYO - The Japanese arm of Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD Co. said Monday it will release its first passenger car for Japan in late January 2023.

The "Atto 3" sport utility vehicle will retail for 4.4 million yen ($32,600) from Jan. 31, BYD Japan Co. said, with deliveries of the vehicles expected to begin around March. The firm says it will progressively roll out sales bases for the cars across the country starting late January.


Figure skating: Hanyu to perform at Tokyo Dome next Feb.

HACHINOHE, Japan - Yuzuru Hanyu will become the first figure skater ever to have a solo ice show at Tokyo Dome, one of Japan's biggest entertainment venues.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist said Monday his next ice show, called "Gift," will be held there on Feb. 26.


Japan public broadcaster NHK taps ex-BOJ director for next chief

TOKYO - Japan's public broadcaster NHK said Monday it has decided to name Nobuo Inaba, former executive director of the Bank of Japan, as its president.

Inaba, 72, will replace incumbent Terunobu Maeda, former chairman of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., on Jan. 25 for a three-year term. Since 2008, NHK has had five former private company executives in a row as its president.


Kindergarten head referred to prosecutors over 3-yr-old dying of heat

SHIZUOKA, Japan - A former principal of a kindergarten in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, was referred to prosecutors on Monday for alleged professional negligence resulting in death after a 3-year-old girl died of heatstroke in a van used by the school three months ago.

Police say that Tatsuyoshi Masuda, 73, who headed Kawasaki kindergarten in Makinohara, was responsible for China (pronounced chee-na) Kawamoto's death on Sept. 5, after she was left behind on the van for about five hours. Three others were also referred to prosecutors over the case.