Photo shows icicles in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture, eastern Japan, on Feb. 5, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Former Tokyo Olympics operations exec arrested over bid rigging

TOKYO - Prosecutors arrested a former operations executive at the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee and three others on Wednesday over bid-rigging allegations, as yet another corruption scandal surfaces in the wake of the global sports event.

Tokyo prosecutors arrested the former executive, Yasuo Mori, on suspicion he played a leading role in rigging bids for contracts in planning games test events and running both the pre-games events and competitions during the Summer Games in violation of the anti-monopoly law.


Japan plans more aid as Turkey quake death toll climbs to over 9,400

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday the government plans to provide additional support to areas hit by a powerful earthquake in southern Turkey as the death toll in the country and neighboring Syria surpassed 9,400.

With Japan's disaster relief rescue team having started work in Turkey's southern province of Kahramanmaras, Kishida said in a parliamentary session, "We will consider sending necessary assistance in light of the needs of local people."


Japan jr. ruling party, U.S. envoy agree LGBT law needed before G-7

TOKYO - The head of the junior coalition partner of Japan's ruling party and the U.S. special envoy on sexual minorities agreed Wednesday it is desirable for the Asian country to enact a law for promoting the understanding of LGBT people before the Group of Seven summit in May in Hiroshima.

Komeito party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said it is important to raise awareness that "discrimination is intolerable" during his meeting with Jessica Stern, the U.S. special envoy to advance the human rights of sexual minorities, according to a lawmaker who attended the session.


Biden vows to act if U.S. sovereignty threatened by China

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday he is open to working with China, seeking "competition, not conflict," but that Washington will take action if Beijing threatens its national security.

In his second State of the Union address, Biden sought to draw attention to his economic achievements and did not hide his country's rivalry with China, emphasizing that during his presidency, more efforts have been devoted to protecting advanced technologies and modernizing the military.


Japan's current account surplus halves to 8-yr low in 2022

TOKYO - Japan's current account surplus nearly halved in 2022 from a year earlier to 11.44 trillion yen ($87 billion), its lowest level in eight years, weighed down by a record trade deficit caused by swelling imports and a weakening yen, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

The biggest ever year-on-year decline of 10.15 trillion yen came despite a record surplus in primary income, which reflects returns on foreign investments made by Japanese firms, underscoring the magnitude of the hit to resource-scarce Japan from surging imports of higher-priced energy and other items.


North Korea's Kim, together with daughter, praises army before key anniv.

BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praised the nation's army on the eve of the 75th anniversary of its founding Wednesday, calling the troops "the strongest army in the world," state-run media reported.

But there was no mention of the country's nuclear program or the United States in his speech, delivered at a banquet and attended by his daughter, commemorating the anniversary. The leader visited the quarters of general officers of the Korean People's Army on Tuesday.


Philippines to deport remaining 2 robbery suspects to Japan on Feb. 8 night

MANILA - The Philippines is set to deport on Wednesday night the remaining two of four Japanese detainees believed to be involved in a string of robberies across Japan.

Yuki Watanabe, 38, and Tomonobu Kojima, 45, will join Kiyoto Imamura and Toshiya Fujita, both 38, who were deported the previous day and arrested by Japanese police aboard a flight to Japan.


Olympics: Paris mayor opposes Russian athletes at 2024 Summer Games

GENEVA - Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has spoken against Russian athletes participating in the Olympics while the war continues in Ukraine, Reuters reported Tuesday.

During an interview with a French radio station, the mayor of the 2024 Summer Games host city departed from earlier statements in which she appeared to be in favor of allowing such athletes to compet e under a neutral flag.


Video: Kyoto's Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater for maiko reopens after seismic retrofitting