Cherry trees in full bloom are pictured in early morning light at Yonomori area in the Fukushima prefectural town of Tomioka, northeastern Japan, on April 1, 2023. An evacuation order for the district that had been in place since the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was lifted the same day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Award-winning Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, member of YMO, dies

TOKYO - World-renowned Japanese musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, also the keyboardist of the legendary electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, known as YMO, died last Tuesday, his office said Sunday. He was 71.

Sakamoto revealed in June 2022 that he had been battling stage IV cancer. The Tokyo native also starred in the 1983 war film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," and won an Oscar and Grammy for scoring the 1987 movie "The Last Emperor."


Japan minister protests China's detention of national, seeks early release

BEIJING - Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Sunday he has lodged a strong protest over China's recent detention of a Japanese national and called for the citizen to be released as soon as possible during his first in-person talks with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, in Beijing.

Hayashi told reporters following the meeting with Qin that he also sought consular access to the Japanese citizen and urged China to provide transparency in the judicial process. The national, arrested in China last month, is a senior employee of Japanese pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma Inc.


High level of activity spotted at North Korea's key nuclear complex

TOKYO - Satellite images have shown a "high level of activity" at North Korea's key nuclear facility, a U.S. organization said, as leader Kim Jong Un has ordered an expansion of the country's production of weapons-grade nuclear materials.

The images taken in March suggest that completion of an experimental light water reactor at the nuclear complex in Yongbyon is just around the corner, Washington-based website 38 North, a group monitoring North Korea, said Saturday.


Football: Kaoru Mitoma nets Japanese-high 7th goal in Premier League season

BRIGHTON, England - Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season on Saturday, surpassing Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki for the most goals scored in a single English top-flight season by a Japanese player.

Brighton equalized three times in an entertaining 3-3 home draw with Brentford, which saw Mitoma scoring their first goal in the 21st minute. Mitoma, named the Man of the Match, ran behind the opposing backline to receive a long pass from keeper Jason Steele before lobbing the ball over advancing Brentford custodian David Raya.


Prince Hitachi, former Emperor Akihito's brother, taken to hospital

TOKYO - Prince Hitachi, the younger brother of former Emperor Akihito and uncle of Emperor Naruhito, was hospitalized with a fever Sunday, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The 87-year-old was recovering well after surgery to crush stones in his ureter in March, but he was readmitted to the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center as a precaution, the agency said.


Biden may visit to Japan chip plant on G-7 summit sidelines

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden may visit a cutting-edge semiconductor factory operated by a U.S. chip giant in western Japan when he visits for the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May, according to diplomatic sources.

In a show of close bilateral cooperation in the semiconductor field, he will be accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the plant run by Micron Technology Inc.'s Japanese unit, the sources said.


FEATURE: Paris to make history with men's Olympic artistic swim debut

TOKYO - For the first time ever, women are set to comprise half of the athletes in Olympic competition next year in Paris, where the Summer Games will also mark another milestone for gender inclusivity.

Men will make their Olympic artistic swimming debut in the French capital, amid hopes they can help invigorate the sport and attract new participants.


Disney Cruise Line makes Singapore its 1st home port in Asia

SINGAPORE - Singapore's tourism board and a Walt Disney Co. subsidiary have agreed to make the Southeast Asian country the first Asian homeport for one of the company's cruise ships.

The Singapore Tourism Board and Disney Cruise Line have signed a memorandum of understanding to homeport the new vessel exclusively in Singapore for at least five years, they said. Disney cruises are operating in the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere but not in Asia.


Video: Memorial ceremony for Bucha massacre in Ukraine