Photo taken in Narita, near Tokyo, on March 23, 2023, shows the 2023 World Baseball Classic trophy (C) won by the Japan team in Miami, Florida, earlier in the week. The 2006 WBC trophy (L) and the 2009 trophy (R), both won by Japan, can be also seen. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan eyes upgrading Aegis ships to take Tomahawk missiles by FY 2027

TOKYO - The Japanese government plans to upgrade all eight of its Aegis destroyers by fiscal 2027 so that they can be installed with Tomahawk cruise missiles purchased from the United States, a government source said Saturday.

The move is intended to enable Japan to launch long-range missiles from various locations as the country seeks to develop capabilities that can strike targets inside an adversary's territory, amid North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats and China's military rise.


Japanese company official detained by Chinese authorities

BEIJING - A senior Japanese company official in his 50s was detained in Beijing earlier this month for an alleged violation of the country's law, a source familiar with Japan-China relations said Saturday.

The Japanese government has been seeking his release at an early date and trying to provide him with consular support via the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, the source said.


Figure skating: Japan's Shoma Uno wins 2nd straight world championship

SAITAMA, Japan - Japan's Shoma Uno repeated as men's figure skating world champion Saturday, scoring 196.51 in the free skate for a winning total of 301.14.

The Beijing Winter Olympic bronze medalist finished 5.11 points ahead of South Korea's Cha Jun Hwan, with 18-year-old rising American star Ilia Malinin rounding out the podium on 288.44.


Kishida nixed China envoy farewell meeting amid strained ties

TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declined to meet with former Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou before his departure in late February, multiple sources have confirmed, in an unusual move that indicates the degree of strain on bilateral relations.

Several of Kong's predecessors met Japanese premiers to bid farewell, but Kishida broke the custom in light of worsening public sentiment amid Chinese vessels' repeated entry into waters near the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands and the past flights of suspected Chinese spy balloons over Japan, the sources said.


China's rocket launches more than quadruple over decade: survey

TOKYO - The annual number of Chinese space rocket launches more than quadrupled over a decade to a record-high 62 last year, as President Xi Jinping aims to make the country a space power, according to a survey by Japan's Cabinet Office.

Globally, a total of 177 space rockets were launched in 2022, with the United States accounting for 83, returning to the top spot. The U.S. figure included 61 successful launches by SpaceX, founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk, the survey showed.


Japan, 8 other economies agree to slash saury fishing quota by 25%

TOKYO - Japan, China and the seven other members of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission have agreed to cut their combined saury catch quota by about 25 percent from last year to 250,000 tons a year to address depleted stocks.

The new catch limit, which was decided at the end of a three-day meeting through Friday in Sapporo, will be in place for two years. While the parties agreed on a 40 percent cut from the previous year in 2021 and kept the quota at 333,750 tons in 2022, Tokyo had proposed halving it to 170,000 tons amid historically poor catches.


Twin toddlers die after falling from 7th-floor apartment in Nagoya

NAGOYA - Twin two-year-old brothers have died after apparently falling from an apartment in the central Japan city of Nagoya, police said Saturday.

Toya and Yuya Mabe, who lived on the seventh floor of an apartment building in Naka Ward, were discovered in a parking lot next to the building. Police said they received a call around 3:55 p.m. Friday from a passer-by who informed them that a child had fallen.


Baseball: Shohei Ohtani tunes up in minor league game for Opening Day start

TEMPE, Arizona - Shohei Ohtani returned to the Los Angeles Angels camp Friday, throwing 4-2/3 innings against Arizona Diamondbacks minor leaguers in preparation for Opening Day.

The two-way star, fresh off leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic title, struck out eight and allowed one run on four hits with a walk in an 81-pitch outing on a practice field in Tempe, Arizona.


FEATURE: Therapy dogs taking anxiety out of legal system for abused kids

NAGOYA - Therapy dogs have been used in Japan for the past three years to ease anxiety felt by child sexual abuse victims and others as they are interviewed about their harrowing experiences, with the animals providing solace and security while the children are caught up in the legal system.

In Tokyo, Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures, dogs have been tasked with helping in more than 100 cases and are now considered a valuable resource for their ability to alleviate stress on children who might have to give difficult testimony to prosecutors and child guidance center staff.


Video: Cherry trees at Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto lit up