Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows Tokyu Department Store's flagship store in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Jan. 31, 2023, the day it closed down for good after operating as a landmark of the area for more than 50 years. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan eyeing G-7 video summit Feb. 24, 1st anniv. of Ukraine war

TOKYO - Japan is hoping to hold a Group of Seven summit online on Feb. 24, the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, government sources said Wednesday, as the Asian country is the chair of the G-7 this year.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is considering inviting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the video summit, the sources said. During the gathering, the G-7 leaders are set to confirm their unity in tackling Russia's aggression against its neighbor.


South Korean temple loses Buddha statue ownership case to Japan

DAEJEON, South Korea - A South Korean appeals court ruled Wednesday that a Buddha statue stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012 belongs to the temple, overturning a lower court ruling that had acknowledged a South Korean temple's ownership of it.

The Daejeon High Court, however, left the issue of returning the 14th-century statue to the Japanese temple to the South Korean government, which is currently in possession of it, calling for Seoul to take international norms into account.


Philippine President Marcos to visit Japan next week: gov't

TOKYO - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will visit Japan next week for talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the government said Wednesday.

The visit was announced at a time when Tokyo and Manila are arranging the deportation of four Japanese suspects believed to be behind a string of robberies across Japan.


Manila seeking dismissal of charges against Japan robbery suspects

MANILA - The Philippines is seeking to have local criminal charges against some of the four Japanese believed to be behind a string of robberies across Japan dismissed, a Justice Department spokesman said Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian country seeks to deport all four to Japan.

The pending charges have left it unclear whether the suspects can all be swiftly transferred to Japan from the immigration facility in Manila where they are being held.


30-month sentence sought for ex-chairman in Olympic bribery trial

TOKYO - Prosecutors on Wednesday sought a 30-month sentence for the former chairman of a major suit retailor, who along with two others is charged with giving 28 million yen ($215,000) in bribes to a former Tokyo Olympics organizing committee executive to land a sponsorship deal.

Hironori Aoki, the 84-year-old former chairman of Aoki Holdings Inc., "used the Tokyo Olympics for self-interest and trampled the public value of the tournament," prosecutors said in a trial at the Tokyo District Court.


Myanmar marks 2 years since coup, eyes election amid violence

YANGON - Myanmar on Wednesday marked two years since the coup that ousted its democratically elected government, enduring prolonged conflict between the now-ruling military and those who call for democracy that has seen thousands killed.

While the junta has vowed to hold a general election and transfer power to the winning party this year, there are doubts about whether it is feasible to hold one fairly as the military continues its attacks in regions where ethnic minority militias and pro-democracy citizens have taken up arms against it.


Japan, NATO vow to continue sanctions on Russia, ahead of G-7 summit

TOKYO - Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged Wednesday to continue imposing punitive sanctions on Russia over its war in Ukraine, around three months before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit.

During their meeting in Tokyo, Hayashi and Stoltenberg also exchanged views on the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, while agreeing on closer collaboration between Japan and the U.S.-led, trans-Atlantic alliance, according to the Foreign Ministry.


Japan sushi chain reports diner who licked utensils in viral clip to police

OSAKA - The operator of major conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain Sushiro said Wednesday it has filed a damages complaint to police against a customer after a video of them misusing and licking unused cups and sushi racked up millions of views online.

The move by Akindo Sushiro Co. comes as videos of customers' unhygienic behavior at its and competitors' restaurants, where food is served in plates that travel by conveyor belts that pass numerous diners, have attracted increasing negative attention and criticism online.


Iconic Tokyo store closes