Photo taken May 15, 2023, shows moss phlox, or shibazakura in Japanese, in full bloom at Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park in the Hokkaido town of Ozora. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan to accept wounded Ukrainian soldiers for treatment

TOKYO - Japan will accept injured Ukrainian soldiers for medical treatment as part of efforts to support their war-torn homeland in its ongoing battle to defend itself against Russia, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

In a rare move, several soldiers will be accepted at the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital in Tokyo as early as next month for medical care and physical therapy, the sources said.


Nikkei ends above 30,000 for 1st time since Sept. 2021

TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index closed above 30,000 on Wednesday for the first time since September 2021, boosted by buying of companies with favorable shareholder returns and hopes for a recovery in inbound tourism.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 250.60 points, or 0.84 percent, from Tuesday at 30,093.59, its highest level since Sept. 28, 2021. The broader Topix index finished up 6.43 points, or 0.30 percent, at 2,133.61, its highest level since August 1990.


April foreign entries to Japan at 1.9 million, 66% of pre-pandemic level

TOKYO - Japan saw an estimated 1,949,100 foreign visitors in April, equivalent to 66.6% of the number recorded in April 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Wednesday.

The total was up nearly 14-fold from a year before and marks the highest number of foreign visitors since February 2020, when the pandemic caused a sharp decline in arrivals.


Japan's economy expands 1.6% in Jan.-March on consumption, tourism

TOKYO - Japan's economy grew an annualized real 1.6 percent in January-March, the first expansion in three quarters, aided by strong private consumption and an inbound tourism recovery in a fresh sign the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, the government said Wednesday.

Despite the stronger-than-expected reading for gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced in a country, the data showed exports plunged and the economy fell into a technical recession of two consecutive quarters of negative growth late last year.


Japanese media raise AI copyright concerns, call for measures

TOKYO - An association run by Japanese mass media on Wednesday warned against recent developments in artificial intelligence, noting that it may lead to the unauthorized use of copyrighted work and hinder news organizations from producing quality content.

The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association in a written opinion piece called on the government to implement legal measures to counteract the potential negative effects of AI, and said "the public's right to know may be hampered" if the quality of news content falls.


New Taipei Mayor Hou nominated as Taiwan opposition presidential candidate

TAIPEI - Taiwan's main opposition party, the Nationalist Party, nominated Wednesday New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih as its candidate in the island's presidential election next January to run against Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Hou, 65, mayor of the northern Taiwan city surrounding the capital, said only by changing the ruling party can the island be saved from its dire international situation.


Shionogi starts clinical trial for its 2nd oral coronavirus drug

TOKYO - Shionogi & Co. said Wednesday it has begun a clinical trial in Japan for its second oral coronavirus drug after Xocova.

The new drug is being developed with the aim of overcoming Xocova's shortcomings, the company said.


Australia PM says Quad leaders hope to meet in Hiroshima

SYDNEY/TOKYO - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Wednesday a planned Quad summit will not go ahead in Sydney next week and that he instead hopes to meet the leaders from Japan, the United States and India in Hiroshima while there for a Group of Seven summit later this week.

The change came after U.S. President Joe Biden canceled his stop in Australia, citing the need to return to Washington to negotiate with Congress over a looming debt ceiling deadline.


Video: Moss phlox at Hokkaido park