People head out on March 29, 2023, to search of a person missing after a traditional wooden boat carrying tourists capsized in the Hozu River in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, while on a popular river trip with 29 people on board the day before. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


3 Japan utilities face record-high 101 bil. yen in antitrust fines

TOKYO - Japan's antitrust watchdog on Thursday ordered three major utilities to pay a total of 101 billion yen ($763 million) in fines for forming cartels over electricity sales, in a move that goes against the nation's efforts to free up the electric power market.

The amount of the penalty, to be collected from electricity companies based in central, western and southwestern regions, is the highest ever imposed by the Japan Fair Trade Commission for a violation of the antimonopoly law.


China's premier Li opposes new Cold War in warning to U.S.

BOAO, China - Chinese Premier Li Qiang expressed Thursday opposition to bloc confrontation and a new "Cold War" in a veiled warning to the United States, which has been engaged in an intensifying competition with China.

In a keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia, Li maintained China will "always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order" amid growing fears over its arms buildup and increased military pressure on Taiwan, which Beijing regards as its own.


Taiwan leader Tsai arrives in New York en route to C. America allies

NEW YORK - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Wednesday on a stopover ahead of visits to the self-ruled island's allies in Central America, with eyes on whether she will anger Beijing by meeting with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

After visiting Guatemala and Belize, Tsai is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday on her way back home. Taiwanese media has reported that she is expected to meet with McCarthy, a California congressman who is the third-highest-ranking official in the United States after the president and vice president.


China willing to conduct regular joint military drills with Russia

BEIJING - China said Thursday its military is willing to regularly hold joint exercises and patrols with Russian forces in line with a recent agreement between the two countries' leaders in Moscow.

Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said at a press conference in Beijing that the Chinese military is eager to regularly organize joint naval and air patrols as well as exercises to "further deepen mutual trust" between the two forces and "jointly safeguard international fairness and justice."


Japan defense chief eyes trip to Australia as China's influence grows

TOKYO - Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada is considering visiting Australia in early May to meet with his counterpart Richard Marles and discuss expanding joint exercises and other areas of cooperation to counter China's rapid military buildup in the Indo-Pacific region, government sources said Thursday.

Japan aims to strengthen its quasi-alliance with Australia by enhancing the interoperability between their forces and boosting trilateral defense cooperation with the two countries' common close ally, the United States, the sources said.


S. Korea to maintain import ban on Fukushima-linked Japanese seafood

SEOUL - South Korea will maintain an import ban on seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday, as Japan prepares to release treated radioactive water from the crippled power plant into the sea.

Japan has sought an easing of the ban, including during a bilateral summit meeting earlier this month, but South Korean opposition parties have criticized the move amid continuing public objection to any easing.


Toyota global sales for Feb. hit record high as chip woes ease

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its global sales for February rose 10.3 percent from a year ago to 773,271 units, a record high for the month, as domestic sales rebounded on the back of easing semiconductor shortages.

Sales in Japan, including those for minivehicles, jumped 53.2 percent to 155,840 cars, following a slump the previous year due to a shortage of parts and the effects of coronavirus-related restrictions.


Wrestling: Japanese Rio Olympic gold medalist Dosho to retire

TOKYO - Japan's Sara Dosho, who won the women's 69-kilogram wrestling gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, announced Thursday she will retire.

Recalling her athletic career that she began at age 7, the 28-year-old Dosho wrote on Twitter she "has dedicated everything to wrestling" and "can proudly say that I have given my all" to the sport.


Video: U.S., South Korean forces' Ssangyong joint exercises