Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda attends a press conference at the central bank headquarters in Tokyo on June 16, 2023, following a two-day policy-setting meeting. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan emperor, empress travel to Indonesia for 1st goodwill visit

TOKYO - Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako left for Indonesia on Saturday for their first official goodwill visit since the emperor's ascension to the throne in 2019.

Their stay through Friday includes a luncheon with President Joko Widodo and a visit to a cemetery honoring Indonesian independence fighters.


FOCUS: Japan PM may call snap election after showcasing diplomatic role

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has ruled out calling a snap election soon but appears eager to create a better environment for one by highlighting his presence at upcoming diplomatic events.

He is said to be keen to secure another term as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party by winning a general election. While facing several setbacks at home, lawmakers say Kishida believes his popularity will rise if he can demonstrate to the public that he is strong in foreign affairs.


Japan not on U.S. currency watch list for 1st time since 2016

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday it has removed Japan from a list of major trading partners that it monitors for potentially unfair foreign exchange practices for the first time since 2016, when the current format of designation began.

In its biannual report to Congress, the department placed seven economies on its "monitoring list" -- China, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan.


Japan PM Kishida eyes visit to Middle East in mid-July: sources

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will likely make a mid-July visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to seek cooperation for stable oil supplies amid Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine, according to diplomatic sources.

It would be the first tour to the Middle East by a serving Japanese leader since Shinzo Abe visited in 2020, and would come as China is increasing its engagement in the region by brokering a deal to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March.


Blinken says aim of China trip is to build "empowered communications"

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday one of the major goals of his trip to Beijing is to establish "open and empowered communications" with Chinese officials.

Blinken said such a development is needed and also desired by the rest of the world so that the United States and China can "responsibly" manage their differences, address misperceptions and avoid miscalculations.


Japan issues 1.3 mil. visas in 2022, up 14-fold as COVID curbs eased

TOKYO - Japan issued 1.29 million visas to foreign nationals in 2022, marking a roughly 14-fold increase from the previous year after it eased COVID-19 border control measures, the government said Friday.

It is the first increase in three years, with the rise mainly down to a large increase in student and technical intern visas being issued, according to the Foreign Ministry.


New renewable energy capacity to surge by a third in 2023: IEA

LONDON - The amount of newly added renewable energy capacity in the world is expected to grow by one-third this year, driven by energy security concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a recent report by the International Energy Agency showed.

Total added renewable energy capacity is likely to increase by record 107 gigawatts from 2022 to more than 440 gigawatts, led by the strong deployment of solar and wind power generation systems, reflecting robust demand for an alternative to fossil fuels.


Tennis: Kei Nishikori reaches semis of comeback tourney in Puerto Rico

PALMAS DEL MAR, Puerto Rico - Returning former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori advanced to the semifinals of the Caribbean Open tennis tournament in Puerto Rico with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Australian Adam Walton on Friday.

The Japanese 33-year-old is on the comeback trail at the ATP Challenger Tour event after undergoing hip surgery in January last year and subsequently injuring his ankle during rehab.


Video: BOJ chief Ueda after policy-setting meeting