Tourists from the United States walk near Osaka Castle in the western Japan city of Osaka on June 10, 2023, as the number of travelers to Japan has been recovering sharply following the lifting of COVID-19 measures. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan extends destruction order despite end of North Korea launch window

TOKYO - The Defense Ministry said Sunday it has extended an order instructing the Self-Defense Forces to destroy any North Korean projectile that could fly over Japanese territory, despite the expiration of a period in which Pyongyang said it would launch a satellite-carrying rocket.

The decision indicates Japan will remain vigilant given North Korea has indicated it plans to make an attempt in the near future following the failure of a launch late last month.


M6.2 quake hits Hokkaido in northern Japan, no tsunami warning issued

TOKYO - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 struck off Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido on Sunday, the weather agency said, with no tsunami warning issued.

The quake registered a lower 5 on the country's seismic intensity scale of 7 in Chitose and other parts on the southern coast of the prefecture around 6:55 p.m., the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Sapporo, Hakodate and some other cities marked 4 on the scale.


Zelenskyy confirms Ukraine counteroffensive against Russia has begun

KYIV - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday confirmed a counteroffensive has been launched against invading Russian forces, a move that could serve as a turning point in the war that began in February last year.

"Appropriate counteroffensive and defensive actions are taking place in Ukraine," Zelenskyy told a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Kyiv, adding, "I will not say in detail at what stage they are."


Baseball: Yamaguchi hits grand slam, Sasaki fans 10 in Marines' win

CHIBA, Japan - Koki Yamaguchi hit a grand slam to back pitching sensation Roki Sasaki as the Lotte Marines held on for a 6-5 win over the Hiroshima Carp in an interleague game Sunday.

Sasaki (5-1) struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and walking one at Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba, near Tokyo. The 21-year-old right-hander left with a four-run lead, and his fastball clocked as high as 165 kilometers (102.5 miles) per hour.


Football: Patric double gives Kyoto 3-1 win over Niigata

NIIGATA, Japan - Veteran forward Patric scored twice after coming off the bench in the second half to spearhead Kyoto Sanga to a 3-1 win over Albirex Niigata in the J-League first division Sunday.

The 35-year-old Brazilian journeyman beat Albirex keeper Ryosuke Kojima from the left of the box for a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute at Niigata's Denka Big Swan Stadium, then doubled the margin from the penalty spot five minutes later.


Weather agency declares rainy season across Japan

TOKYO - The rainy season has officially begun across Japan, with the northeast and parts of central areas of the nation joining other regions already experiencing soggy weather, the weather agency said Sunday.

The season does not occur in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture.


Baseball: Kodai Senga gets 6th win, Shohei Ohtani hits 18th homer

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania - New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga earned his sixth win after throwing seven solid innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, while Shohei Ohtani hit his 18th home run of the season in the Los Angeles Angels' 6-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Senga (6-3) allowed an unearned run and two hits while striking out six and walking four in the Mets' 5-1 victory at PNC Park in Pittsburgh that snapped their seven-game losing streak.


Japan making efforts to bridge digital divide between young, elderly

TOKYO - The Japanese government is ramping up efforts to narrow the digital divide between the young and elderly, as the rapid digitalization of society continues to highlight the urgent need to address intergenerational gaps.

With some 20 million senior citizens estimated to be unfamiliar with how to operate smartphones and other digital devices, the government has been offering people assistance by holding classes in collaboration with mobile phone companies. But such initiatives have only attracted people already eager to learn new digital skills.


Video: JAL plane marks 40th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland with Mickey livery