TOKYO - North Korea's launch of what was claimed to be a rocket carrying a spy satellite ended in failure Wednesday, drawing a swift rebuke from the United States and its regional allies for the use of ballistic missile technology.
The 6:27 a.m. firing came on the initial day of a launch window announced by North Korea for its first "military reconnaissance satellite," with the nation pledging to make another attempt "as soon as possible," according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
WASHINGTON - Some American governors are calling for more corporate investment and tourism from Japan, the top direct investor in the United States, hoping it would help local economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have great expectations for Japanese companies," Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said at an event in a Washington suburb earlier this month to promote foreign direct investment.
TOKYO - Japan's parliament passed a bill Wednesday that allows nuclear reactors in the country to be operated beyond the current limit of 60 years to help cut carbon emissions and ensure an adequate national energy supply despite lingering concerns over the safety of aging reactors.
The law on power sources for green transformation and decarbonization amends five laws associated with energy at once, including the electricity business law, under which the life span of reactors will be regulated.
TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his ministers on Wednesday to increase Japan's annual child care budget by around 3.5 trillion yen ($25 billion) during a three-year target period to cope with the declining birth rate.
The figure marks an increase from the around 3 trillion yen previously suggested for child care support from fiscal 2024. To secure part of the funding, the government will issue bridge bonds until it decides on an alternative, stable funding source by fiscal 2028, sources familiar with the discussions said.
TOKYO - The number of foreigners who stayed at hotels and other accommodation facilities in Japan topped 10 million in April for the first time since January 2020, government data showed Wednesday, buoyed by a weaker yen and an increase in the number of international flights.
The figure rose 19.5-fold from a year before to 10.38 million, equivalent to 92.0 percent of the total in April 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak, according to the preliminary data released by the Japan Tourism Agency.
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that some customer information, such as names and addresses, from the Asia and Oceania regions may have been leaked due to incorrect cloud computing settings, with the total number of affected customers still under investigation.
The announcement comes after the Japanese carmaker said earlier this month that the vehicle information of about 2.15 million customers was publicly accessible due to a similar mistake.
Japan's April industrial output falls 0.4% on month
TOKYO - Japan's industrial output in April fell 0.4 percent from the previous month, marking the first decline in three months, affected by decreased domestic and overseas orders, government data showed Wednesday.
The seasonally adjusted index of production at factories and mines stood at 95.5 against the 2015 base of 100, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report. The decline followed an upwardly revised 1.1 percent expansion in March.
TOKYO - The Japan Sumo Association unanimously decided Wednesday to promote Kiribayama to the sport's second-highest rank of ozeki, following his recent run of strong results.
Upon his promotion, the 27-year-old from Mongolia, whose real name is Byambachuluun Lkhagvasuren, changed his ring name to Kirishima, formerly used by his stablemaster Michinoku when he was an active wrestler.
Video: Tornado in Hokkaido