A lawyer (front, 2nd from R) for two of four Japanese nationals currently in detention in Manila who are believed to be behind a string of robberies across Japan is surrounded by journalists outside a court in the capital on Feb. 6, 2023, after attending their hearings. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Philippines deports 2 robbery suspects to Japan, arrests made in-flight

MANILA - The Philippines deported Tuesday two of four Japanese men suspected of planning and coordinating a string of robberies across Japan beginning last year, with Japanese police arresting them while they were aboard a flight to Narita.

The arrests of Kiyoto Imamura and Toshiya Fujita, both 38, came after days of developments around an immigration detention facility in Manila where the four men have been held, with their repatriation hinging on courts dismissing local criminal cases against them.


Japan PM's party evasive over enacting law to protect LGBT rights

TOKYO - Senior lawmakers of Japan's ruling party led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday remained non-committal about enacting a law for protecting the rights of sexual minorities, despite growing calls for such a move following discriminatory remarks by the premier's former close aide.

Hiroshi Kajiyama, executive acting secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, told a press conference whether submitting a bill to facilitate understanding of LGBT issues during the current parliamentary session through June 21 will "depend on discussions going forward," adding the party's committee discussing the topic will consider the bill and prepare for submission.


Grateful Kunieda reflects fondly on "best" wheelchair tennis career

TOKYO - Japan's Shingo Kunieda, one of the greatest wheelchair tennis players of all time, said Tuesday during his retirement press conference that his career could not have gone any better.

"I can clearly tell fans that I had the best tennis career," said the 38-year-old, who announced his retirement in late January while at the top of the world rankings.


Death toll from Turkey quake tops 5,000

MALATYA, Turkey - The death toll from Monday's powerful quake that rocked southern Turkey and neighboring Syria has exceeded 5,000 as rescue operations continued, authorities said.

In Turkey, the quake that struck Gaziantep province with a magnitude of 7.8 has killed at least 3,419, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said.


Japan real wages mark 1st fall in 2 yrs amid rising inflation

TOKYO - Japan's real wages dropped 0.9 percent in 2022 from the previous year for the first decline in two years amid rising inflation, government data showed Tuesday, while household spending continued recovering moderately following the coronavirus pandemic.

The slide in inflation-adjusted wages signaled that food, energy and other price increases, driven largely by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, outpaced pay hikes, despite Prime Minister Fumio Kishida calling on business leaders to raise wages in line with inflation to create a positive growth cycle.


Mitsubishi Heavy gives up 1st Japan-made passenger jet project

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Tuesday it will terminate its plan to develop Japan's first domestically manufactured passenger jet, pulling the plug on a public-private project that was repeatedly hampered by delays before being frozen more than two years ago.

The enterprise, which officially started in 2008 and cost about 1 trillion yen ($7.6 billion), was suspended in October 2020 after frequent technological problems as well as a sharp fall in air travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Court rejects damages suit by Hiroshima A-bomb survivors' children

HIROSHIMA - A Japanese court on Tuesday dismissed a damages suit filed by the children of some Hiroshima atomic bombing survivors seeking financial support from the central government.

In the lawsuit filed with the Hiroshima District Court in 2017, the 28 plaintiffs each sought damages of 100,000 yen ($760), claiming the state violated the Constitution by not providing them aid even though health damage caused by the genetic effects of radiation cannot be denied.


U.S. collects part of debris from suspected Chinese spy balloon

WASHINGTON - The U.S military has collected some debris from a Chinese balloon that was shot down over the weekend off South Carolina and it will try to recover as much of the wreckage as possible to scrutinize the craft's surveillance capabilities, the White House said Monday.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters online that the United States has no plans to return the debris to China, which has claimed it was a weather research balloon that blew off course and entered U.S. airspace by accident, criticizing Washington's response as an "obvious overreaction."


Video: Tokyo police on way to Manila