Kurdish people dance in celebration of their traditional New Year holiday of Newroz in Saitama near Tokyo on March 21, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Baseball: Shohei Ohtani fans Mike Trout, closes out Japan's 3rd WBC title

MIAMI, Florida - Shohei Ohtani struck out Mike Trout in the ninth inning to save Japan's 3-2 win in Tuesday's World Baseball Classic final and clinch his nation's third championship and first since 2009.

With Miami's loanDepot park on its feet and rocking with the high-voltage dream matchup of superstar Los Angeles Angels teammates, Ohtani set down Trout swinging to earn the save.


Figure skating: Kaori Sakamoto starts world title defense strongly

SAITAMA, Japan - Japan's Kaori Sakamoto made a strong start to her women's singles title defense Wednesday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, leading the field with the highest-scoring short program of the season.

The 22-year-old Beijing Winter Olympic bronze medalist scored 79.24 on the opening day of the championships at Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo and leads South Korea's Lee Hae In by 5.62 heading into Friday's free skate. Japan's Grand Prix Final winner, Mai Mihara, finished third with 73.46.


Japan land prices up for 2nd yr in post-COVID rebound

TOKYO - The average price of land in Japan rose for the second straight year in 2022, with the rate of growth picking up, as demand for both residential and commercial use recovered following a fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government said Wednesday.

Land prices in all categories nationwide rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier as of Jan. 1, 2023, compared with a 0.6 percent increase in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.


Japan PM Kishida vows to support Poland through financial assistance

WARSAW - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Wednesday to provide Poland with official development assistance to support its role as the frontline of military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, which has been fighting to hold off Russia's invasion.

Kishida held talks with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw a day after his unannounced trip to Ukraine.


North Korea fires multiple cruise missiles: S. Korea military

SEOUL - North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles off its eastern coast Wednesday, South Korea's military said, an apparent response to ongoing joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States on the Korean Peninsula.

Several cruise missiles were launched from Hamhung in South Hamgyong Province toward the Sea of Japan from around 10:15 a.m., according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Gov't keeps view on Japan economy, vigilant against volatile markets

TOKYO - The government on Wednesday retained its assessment that the economy is recovering moderately but maintained its warning about market volatility, amid fresh banking concerns prompted by troubled Swiss bank Credit Suisse and the collapse of two U.S. lenders.

In a monthly economic report for March, the government cut its assessment on production for the first time since December amid slowing overseas demand for semiconductors and other items. Its view on corporate earnings was also downgraded for the first time in nearly three years.


Tokyo cherry blossoms in full bloom, matching 2nd earliest record

TOKYO - Cherry blossoms were in full bloom on Wednesday in central Tokyo, matching 2013, 2020 and 2021 to become the second-earliest day in the year for the seasonal phenomena to occur since records began, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

More than 80 percent of the flowers on a "Somei Yoshino" tree at Yasukuni Shrine, used by the agency as a yardstick to measure the annual event, were in bloom, fulfilling the full-bloom criteria nine days earlier than average and five days earlier than in 2022.


U.S plans to impose more sanctions against Myanmar junta

JAKARTA - The United States plans to impose more sanctions against entities in Myanmar in the coming days to make it more difficult for the country's junta to afford to purchase weapons, a visiting senior State Department official said Wednesday.

"We are committed to continuing to ratchet up the pressure on the junta and make it harder for them to generate revenue, which is fueling its war machine," State Department Counselor Derek Chollet told reporters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.


Chinese company secures contract to develop Solomon Islands ports

SYDNEY - A Chinese state company has been awarded a contract to upgrade international and domestic ports in the Solomon Islands as part of a multimillion-dollar infrastructure project funded by the Asian Development Bank, a bank spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corp. signed an agreement with the government of the southern Pacific island nation on Tuesday to upgrade the ports, including ones in the capital Honiara, under the $170 million project, the government said in a statement.


Video: Kurdish New Year event held near Tokyo