Former competitive figure skater Mao Asada poses in front of the site where she plans to builds an ice skating rink, Mao Rink, in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, on March 28, 2023. Asada announced the same day the rink will open in fall of 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Mt. Fuji eruption escape plan calls on residents to evacuate on foot

SHIZUOKA, Japan - An updated escape plan in the event Mt. Fuji erupts calls on nearby residents to evacuate on foot in principle, in a shift from the previous plan that assumed the use of cars, the disaster management council for Japan's tallest mountain said Wednesday.

The council, consisting of bodies including the central government, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, which the 3,776-meter volcano straddles, and nearby Kanagawa Prefecture, revised the evacuation plan for the first time in nine years based on revisions made to the Mt. Fuji hazard map in 2021.


Iran-Saudi deal includes agreement on nuclear program, Yemen

TOKYO - Iran and Saudi Arabia, which recently decided to restore diplomatic ties in a China-brokered deal, have also agreed on several security issues including Riyadh's conditional support for Tehran's nuclear program and ending the war in Yemen, diplomatic sources said earlier this week.

The five agreed-upon items include some of the most intractable topics between the two Middle Eastern behemoths, whose rivalry has long played a destabilizing role in the region such as through their proxy war in Yemen.


Japan reluctant to accelerate G-7 power sector decarbonization push

TOKYO - Japan, host of the Group of Seven ministerial meeting on climate issues next month, has shown reluctance about bringing forward the framework's agreement last year to decarbonize power sector by 2035, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The G-7 gathering on climate, energy and environment issues on April 15-16 in Sapporo, northern Japan, is set to focus on the seven developed countries' decarbonization efforts after each of them committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


TPP close to agreeing to Britain's membership, 1st expansion

TOKYO - Members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are close to agreeing to Britain joining the free trade pact, Japanese government sources said Wednesday, in the first expansion of the 11-nation deal that currently covers over 10 percent of global economic output.

Britain's accession, which will be approved as early as this year, is hoped to help build momentum for the return of the United States, which withdrew from the pact in 2017 under then President Donald Trump, the sources said.


Taiwan's Tsai leaves for Central America via U.S. amid China warning

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen embarked on a 10-day trip Wednesday to the island's Central American allies via the United States, during which she is expected to hold talks with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, even as China warned against such a meeting.

Tsai will transit through New York and Los Angeles on her way to and from Guatemala and Belize and also deliver speeches in the United States. Earlier Wednesday, China threatened "resolute countermeasures" against a potential Tsai-McCarthy meeting.


Myanmar junta dissolves ousted leader Suu Kyi's party

YANGON - Myanmar's military government on Wednesday ramped up its suppression of opponents by dissolving the political party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other parties over their failure to register for its planned but still unscheduled polls.

The move paves the way for a general election with no genuine opposition that would extend the military's grip on power since its February 2021 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government led by Suu Kyi.


Okinawa to cap remote island visitors to prevent "overtourism"

NAHA, Japan - A cap of 1,200 visitors per day is to be introduced on an island in Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa as part of a drive to prevent "overtourism" disrupting residents' way of life and the local ecosystem, according to the prefectural government.

Starting in April, the Okinawa prefectural government will aim to cap total annual visits to Iriomote Island at 330,000 people. The island, dubbed the "Galapagos of the East" by local authorities, is popular for its natural beauty and for having a distinctive species of wildcat only found on the island.


Ex-breeder in Tokyo arrested for neglecting 10 dogs

TOKYO - A 46-year-old former dog breeder in western Tokyo has been arrested for alleged neglect of 10 dogs, police said Wednesday, noting that the number of animals he was taking care of at one point had reached over 150.

Takashi Ogawa, who lives in Hachioji, had been breeding and selling dogs such as Shiba Inu and Kai Ken, which are designated as national treasures. He is believed to have caused the 10 dogs to suffer through neglect between December and January in violation of the animal welfare law.


Video: Mao Asada announces plan to build a new ice skating rink