Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on May 9, 2023, shows azalea flowers painting Mt. Katsuragi in western Japan red. The 959-meter-high mountain straddles the border between Osaka and Nara prefectures. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Toyota logs 1st net profit fall in 4 yrs on higher material costs

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its net profit fell 14.0 percent in fiscal 2022 from the previous year to 2.45 trillion yen ($18 billion), the first decline in four years due to rising material costs.

Operating profit for the year ended March slid 9.0 percent to 2.73 trillion yen, although the Japanese carmaker posted record sales of 37.15 trillion yen on robust vehicle sales and a weaker yen that bloats its overseas sales when repatriated.


NATO planning to open liaison office in Tokyo: Japan envoy to U.S.

WASHINGTON - NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Tokyo as part of efforts to strengthen cooperation with Japan, the country's ambassador to the United States, Koji Tomita, said Tuesday.

"We are working in that direction," Tomita said of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's plan at a press event in Washington. But the envoy added that he has not heard any final confirmation of the plan and did not provide further details.


Japan enacts law for GPS trackers to prevent int'l bail jumping

TOKYO - Japan's parliament enacted a bill Wednesday permitting courts to approve the placing of GPS monitors on suspects to prevent international bail jumping, a move spurred by multiple cases such as the high-profile escape of former Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn.

It also approved, as part of criminal law reforms, measures to protect the anonymity of alleged victims of sexual and other crimes to prevent them from their assailants.


U.S. calls for Taiwan's return as observer to WHO annual meeting

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday urged the World Health Organization to invite Taiwan to its annual meeting as an observer as it did prior to 2017.

Before the WHO's decision-making body holds the meeting on May 21 to 30 in Geneva, the U.S. top diplomat released a statement saying that excluding Taiwan from the gathering is "unjustified and undermines inclusive global public health cooperation and security, which the world demands."


13-yr-old stabbed outside Tokyo home in suspected attempted murder

TOKYO - A 13-year-old boy was stabbed outside his home in Tokyo on Wednesday morning in an apparent attempted murder, with the suspect under arrest, investigative sources said.

The junior high school student was taken to a hospital after being stabbed in the chest and collapsing in front of the door to his home in the capital's Ota Ward, police said. He was reported to be conscious, and his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.


ASEAN leaders discuss Myanmar crisis, U.S.-China rivalries

LABUAN BAJO, Indonesia - Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations denounced a weekend attack in Myanmar in a statement, with the country's prolonged political crisis among the issues confronting ASEAN at the group's summit that began Wednesday in Indonesia.

In the stand-alone statement on Myanmar, ASEAN leaders said they were deeply concerned with the ongoing violence in the country, urging the immediate cessation of the use of force following the attack on a convoy of diplomats from Indonesia and Singapore on an aid mission in eastern Myanmar.


30-40 watches found in Tokyo Rolex store robbery getaway vehicle

TOKYO - A Boston bag containing around 30 to 40 wristwatches has been found inside a getaway vehicle used in the robbery of a Rolex specialty store in Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district earlier this week, investigative sources said Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department is confirming whether they are part of the 100 watches believed to have been stolen from Quark Ginza 888 at around 6:15 p.m. Monday. Around 30 other watches have already been found in a black bag near the minivan, which was apparently used to flee the crime scene.


Japan gov't defends national ID system despite glitches

TOKYO - Japan's top government spokesman on Wednesday insisted there is no problem with the "My Number" national identification system, following the erroneous issuance of official documentation via one of its services.

The comments came a day after the Digital Agency requested Fujitsu Japan Ltd., the provider of the system, to temporarily suspend the issuance of documentation at convenience stores after users received copies of the residence certificates of other individuals.


Video: Azaleas in full bloom on Mt. Katsuragi in western Japan