Photo shows a miniature of Nagoya Castle at the Nagoya-based theme park Legoland Japan Resort's new "Miniland" area on March 16, 2023, unveiled to the media ahead of its official opening the following day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan targets 85% taking paternity leave in FY2030 to tackle low birthrate

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Friday to implement the necessary measures to allow 85 percent of male workers who have a child to take paternity leave by fiscal 2030 to tackle the falling birthrate.

Kishida said at a press conference that his government will also take steps to push up wages for young workers and boost economic assistance to them to create an environment conducive to raising their children free of concerns.


South Korea seeks scientific analysis before Fukushima water release

TOKYO - South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday called for Japan to conduct a scientific analysis before releasing treated radioactive water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japanese lawmakers said.

With concern lingering about the impact of the treated water on the ocean environment, Yoon's remarks came during a meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the soon-to-be new head of a cross-party group of lawmakers promoting friendly ties between Tokyo and Seoul.


Japan to crack down on crime rings that recruit via social media

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday ordered a crackdown on crime rings that use social media to recruit new members and task them with committing burglaries and fraud, as the government responds to a string of recent robberies across the country.

Kishida called for stronger measures against online posts seeking people for "yami baito," literally meaning dark part-time jobs, while stressing the need to conduct "cyber patrols" to eradicate recruiting for criminal activities. He also directed focus be put on ensuring the protection of personal information such as customer data to prevent scammers from using it in their schemes.


China's Xi to pay 3-day state visit to Russia from March 20

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a three-day state visit to Russia from Monday at the invitation of his counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday, his first trip to the country since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the Ukraine crisis, as well as ways to boost bilateral ties. In February, China sought a comprehensive cease-fire in Ukraine in a position paper issued on the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of the neighboring country.


Japan to ensure close coordination with BOJ amid market rout

TOKYO - Japan's government will closely coordinate with the Bank of Japan to ensure an appropriate response to recent market volatility caused by concerns about U.S. and European banks, a senior Finance Ministry official said Friday.

After a meeting between Finance Ministry officials, the central bank and the Financial Services Agency, Masato Kanda, vice finance minister for international affairs, said the Japanese banking system is "stable as a whole."


H.K., Macao affairs office to report to Communist Party leadership

HONG KONG - Beijing's top office overseeing Hong Kong and Macao affairs will be restructured into a new body that directly reports to the central leadership of the ruling Communist Party, according to Chinese media reports.

The move announced Thursday indicates stronger control of the two semiautonomous regions by the party headed by general secretary Xi Jinping. Before the institutional reform, the office belonged to the State Council, or China's government.


North Korea says it launched Hwasong-17 ICBM as "warning to enemies"

BEIJING - North Korea said Friday it conducted a launch drill for a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile the previous day to give "a stronger warning to the enemies" amid a large-scale military exercise being conducted by the United States and South Korea.

The launch drill, guided by leader Kim Jong Un, confirmed the war readiness of an ICBM unit and "the exceptional militancy" of the North's strategic forces and verified their reliability, the official Korean Central News Agency said.


Tokyo gov't ordered to pay damages for death of arrested Nepalese man

TOKYO - A Japanese court on Friday ordered the Tokyo metropolitan government to pay damages of around 1 million yen ($7,500) over the 2017 death of a Nepalese man who was forcibly restrained while under police investigation.

The Tokyo District Court determined that the authorities' failure to provide the man with proper treatment was illegal, and that his death was caused by him being inappropriately fitted with restraining devices at a police station in the capital's Shinjuku Ward.


Video: New "Miniland" area opens at Legoland Japan Resort in Nagoya