Former Spain and Barcelona great Andres Iniesta thanks his Japanese fans for their "love and respect" after kicking off his farewell celebrations for J-League side Vissel Kobe at Tokyo's National Stadium on June 6, 2023. (Kyodo)

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


Japan prioritizes fiscal health in policy draft, no target year given

TOKYO - Japan on Wednesday stuck to its pledge of restoring fiscal health, the worst among developed nations, but made no mention of a target year for achieving the goal.

A draft policy blueprint for fiscal 2023 came as the debt-ridden nation is set to substantially increase defense and child care spending in the years ahead.


OECD upgrades global growth forecast to 2.7% for 2023

TOKYO - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday revised its growth outlook for the world economy higher by 0.1 percent to 2.7 percent in 2023, citing easing inflationary pressures and the reopening of China.

The Paris-based organization was more upbeat than three months ago about growth prospects for the United States, China and the euro zone. But it downgraded again the outlook for Japan to 1.3 percent growth from the 1.4 percent projected earlier, reflecting slackening overseas demand.


Honduran president to make 1st China visit since cutting Taiwan ties

BEIJING - Honduran President Xiomara Castro will begin a six-day state visit to China later this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, her first trip to Beijing since the Central American country switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei in March.

Castro's visit from Friday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping comes after Honduras' move left the number of countries that officially recognize the self-ruled democratic island at a record-low 13.


Hong Kong seeks injunction to ban 2019 pro-democracy protest song

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government has sought a court order to ban people from broadcasting or distributing a protest song that was sung as an anthem for the city's 2019 pro-democracy protests, after it was mistakenly played as China's national anthem at some international sporting events in the past year.

The Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday that it had applied for an injunction to prohibit "unlawful acts" relating to the protest song "Glory to Hong Kong" in a bid to thwart people from inciting the territory's secession from China.


Japan lower house committee to vote on LGBT understanding bill on June 9

TOKYO - Japan's ruling and opposition parties have agreed to vote on envisioned legislation aimed at promoting a better understanding of the LGBT community at a lower house committee session on Friday, lawmakers said.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito have been seeking passage of the bill, which they submitted to Diet, by the end of the ongoing parliamentary session through June 21, the lawmakers said Wednesday.


4 Chinese arrested by Japan police for smuggling 700 kg drugs

TOKYO - Four Chinese nationals have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling about 700 kilograms of illegal stimulants from the United Arab Emirates, police and customs officials said Wednesday.

The amount of stimulants, with an estimated street value of 43.4 billion yen ($311 million), was the second largest ever confiscated at one time in Japan.


4 Chinese, Russian bombers jointly fly above waters near Japan

TOKYO - A total of four Chinese and Russian bombers on Tuesday made a joint flight above waters near Japan, the Japanese Defense Ministry said, with its Air Self-Defense Force scrambling fighter jets in response.

While Japan's airspace was not violated, the ministry conveyed its grave concerns to China and Russia through diplomatic channels, viewing the move as a clear show of force.


Japan declines to comment on French objection to NATO's Tokyo office

TOKYO - Japan's top government spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on French President Emmanuel Macron's reported objection to a plan to open a NATO liaison office in Tokyo, only saying that "various considerations" are taking place inside the trans-Atlantic alliance.

The Financial Times reported Monday that Macron has objected to what would be NATO's first office in Asia, reflecting France's reluctance to back anything that fuels tensions between the alliance and China. The plan, revealed in May, has upset Beijing.


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