A lion dance is performed during a New Year sale at a Kintetsu department store at Abeno Harukas commercial facility in Osaka, western Japan, on Jan. 2, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Biden, Japan's Kishida to meet in Washington on Jan. 13: White House

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington on Jan. 13 to further deepen ties between the two countries, the White House announced Tuesday, saying that they will discuss issues ranging from North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile threats to maintaining peace over Taiwan.

While the two leaders have already held talks multiple times, including in Japan where Biden traveled last year, Kishida's upcoming trip would be his first visit to the U.S. capital since taking office in October 2021.


PM Kishida urges wage growth to revive Japan economy

ISE, Japan - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Wednesday to prop up the country's stagnant economy, saying wage growth will become a "driver" for economic recovery with prices rising at home following the Ukraine crisis.

Kishida also said at a press conference after visiting the Ise Jingu shrine in Mie Prefecture that his government will implement measures to invite overseas universities to Japan in a bid to promote investment in the Asian nation from abroad.


Nikkei ends at 10-month low as BOJ tightening fears grip investors

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks got off to a bumpy start Wednesday, the first trading day of 2023, with the Nikkei ending at a 10-month low amid fears that the Bank of Japan could move further toward monetary tightening and a firming yen against the U.S. dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 377.64 points, or 1.45 percent, from Friday to 25,716.86, its lowest close since March 15. The broader Topix index was down 23.56 points, or 1.25 percent, at 1,868.15. Japanese financial markets were closed Monday and Tuesday due to the New Year holidays.


Japan to tighten border controls for travelers from China: PM

ISE, Japan - Japan will further tighten quarantine measures for travelers from China early next week amid a recent surge in novel coronavirus cases in the neighboring country, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday.

Starting Sunday, visitors from China will need to have tested negative before leaving for Japan and will have to undergo a PCR test upon arrival, the premier said at a press conference.


China, Philippines leaders begin talks focused on S. China Sea issue

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr. began talks in Beijing on Wednesday, with the two countries expected to agree on a "direct communication" line to avoid "miscalculations" in the South China Sea, where they have overlapping territorial claims.

The summit meeting at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital came as Marcos has vowed to take a different path from his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, known for his appeasement of China, and moved toward strengthening ties between Manila and Washington.


2,610 killed in Japan traffic accidents in 2022, new record low

TOKYO - Japan saw 2,610 deaths due to traffic accidents in 2022, marking a new record low for the sixth consecutive year, figures from the country's police agency showed Wednesday.

There were 26 fewer deaths in 2022 compared with the previous year, in the lowest figure since 1948, the first year for which comparable data is available. People aged 65 and over made up the largest demographic at 56.4 percent with 1,471 deaths, although that figure was down by 49 from 2021, according to the National Police Agency.


Suspect denies killing family of 3 near Tokyo in December

SAITAMA, Japan - The suspect in the deaths of three family members last month at a residence in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, has denied killing them, police said Wednesday.

DNA from blood found on clothing confiscated from the home of the suspect, Jun Saito, 40, matches that of all three victims, police also said, adding they suspect it was worn by Saito at the time of the crime.


Japan marks year's 1st day of work as COVID cases remain high

TOKYO - Japan's central and local governments, alongside many businesses, marked the year's first day of work Wednesday as the country refrained from implementing travel restrictions despite a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, nationwide daily COVID-19 figures stood at around 90,000, with Japan strengthening its entry restrictions for travelers from China which has seen virus cases surge since it abandoned its strict "zero-COVID" policy.


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