Hydrangea flowers are lit up at Mimuroto temple in Uji in Kyoto on June 8, 2023, ahead of the start of a nighttime special light-up for the public on June 10. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan parliament passes controversial bill to revise immigration law

TOKYO - Japan's parliament on Friday passed a bill to revise an immigration and refugee law to enable authorities to deport individuals who repeatedly apply for asylum status, despite objections from some opposition parties.

Opponents to the legislation gathered in front of the Diet building in Tokyo in the rain, demanding the bill be scrapped, while opposition lawmakers criticized the ruling camp for having "bulldozed" the bill.


Japan PM vows $5 mil. in support after Ukraine dam collapse: gov't

TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday that Japan will provide $5 million in support after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam caused severe damage in the nation, the top government spokesman said.

Kishida and Zelenskyy held a telephone conversation days after tens of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate following flooding triggered by the destruction of the dam, for which Ukraine has blamed Moscow with the war with Russia showing no sign of ending soon.


Japan to expand skilled worker visa system to address labor shortage

TOKYO - Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a plan to expand the scope of industries covered by the blue-collar skilled worker visa that creates a path to permanent residency for foreigners, in a major shift in the country's restrictive immigration policy.

Raising the number of industries to 11 from the current two, the government seeks to start holding language and skill examinations targeting applicants in the newly added sectors from around this fall after soliciting public opinion.


Blinken planning to visit China as soon as next week: report

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to travel to Beijing as early as next week to hold talks with senior Chinese officials, U.S. political news website Politico reported Thursday.

If the trip goes ahead, it would be the first visit to China by a ministerial-level official from Washington since the start of President Joe Biden's administration in 2021.


Japan, U.S., Philippines eye 1st security advisors' talks next week

WASHINGTON - Japan, the United States and the Philippines are considering holding the first trilateral talks of their security advisors in Tokyo next week to address China's intensifying military activities in the Indo-Pacific region, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

Under the new three-way security scheme, Takeo Akiba, secretary general of Japan's National Security Secretariat, and his U.S. and Philippine counterparts, Jake Sullivan and Eduardo Ano, are expected to attend the planned talks on June 16, according to the sources.


Ex-bus firm official appeals guilty ruling over fatal 2016 crash

NAGANO, Japan - The former operations manager of a bus firm has appealed a court ruling that sentenced him to four years in prison for a crash in 2016 that killed 15 people in a mountain resort town in central Japan, court documents showed Friday.

Tsuyoshi Arai, 54, the operations manager of Tokyo-based bus firm ESP at the time of the crash, filed an appeal after the Nagano District Court on Thursday found him guilty of professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries over the accident in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture.


Gov't to request Tokyo area to save power again this summer

TOKYO - The Japanese government decided Friday to request households and businesses in the Tokyo area to save electricity in July and August, with the supply-demand balance forecast to become tight in the area this summer.

The reserve power capacity ratio in the metropolitan area in July could drop to 3.1 percent, slightly above the lowest level for maintaining a stable supply, if a once-in-a-decade level of extreme heat grips the region served by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the industry ministry said.


Tennis: Miyu Kato meets ball girl at center of French Open controversy

PARIS - French Open mixed doubles champion Miyu Kato on Friday posted a photo on Twitter taken with the girl she accidentally hit with a ball during a match that resulted in Kato's pair being expelled from the women's doubles draw.

"I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and continue to Volunteer as a Ball Girl. It makes me very happy to hear this," Kato tweeted in English as they posed smiling and the girl holding a gift from the player.


Video: Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako celebrate 30 years of marriage