A procession of decorated "yamahoko" floats parade during the traditional Gion Festival in Kyoto, western Japan, on July 17, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Japan PM steps up efforts for stable energy supply from Middle East

DOHA - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday accelerated efforts to bolster relations with Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, to secure a stable supply of fossil fuel to the resource-poor Asian nation from the energy domain.

In Doha, Kishida met with Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, after visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for two days from Sunday to strengthen "resource diplomacy" with the Middle Eastern region, where China has recently increased its influence.


China, U.S. agree to cooperate on addressing climate change

BEIJING - China and the United States agreed on Tuesday to cooperate on addressing climate change, as Premier Li Qiang and top diplomat Wang Yi reached a consensus with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry over the matter in separate meetings, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Both Li and Wang called for bringing the strained bilateral relationship "back to the track of sound development," as Beijing and Washington accelerate talks with an eye to holding a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden later this year, it said.


Kyoto Animation memorial marks 4 yrs since attack as trial looms

KYOTO - A memorial for the 36 people killed in the 2019 arson attack on anime studio Kyoto Animation Co. was held on Tuesday, ahead of the start of the suspected culprit's trial in September.

Bereaved family members and the company's President Hideaki Hatta were among the roughly 150 people who attended the event, held at the site where the studio once stood in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward. Fans were asked to refrain from coming to the location to keep the solemn event private.


Fugitive ex-auto tycoon Ghosn sues Nissan for irreparable damage

TOKYO - Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who fled Japan while awaiting trial, said Tuesday he has filed a criminal lawsuit in Lebanon against the Japanese company, vowing to make it pay for "the damage that cannot be repaired."

The lawsuit is "based on many crimes that Nissan has committed in Lebanon," Ghosn said online at a press conference held in Tokyo. But he did not elaborate on the details of the suit.


TOKYO - Japan and France will conduct their first-ever joint fighter jet drill next week, Japan's Self-Defense Forces said Tuesday, as they aim to reinforce security ties amid China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

The four-day exercise starting July 26 will be conducted in the skies near Nyutabaru Air Base in Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, and above the Kanto region, which centers on Tokyo, according to the Air Self-Defense Force.


Japan to ban used cars exports to Russia as part of extra sanctions 

TOKYO - Japan is set to ban the export of used cars to Russia as part of additional economic sanctions on the country over its invasion of Ukraine, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The move to restrict exports of used Japanese cars, which are in high demand in Russia, aims to enforce the effectiveness of embargoes on Moscow by keeping in step with punitive European and U.S. measures.


S. Korea, U.S. hold 1st meeting of Nuclear Consultative Group

SEOUL - Officials from South Korea and the United States gathered Tuesday in Seoul for the first Nuclear Consultative Group meeting, with participants to discuss nuclear and strategic planning with an eye on North Korean weapons development.

The NCG was established during a summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Washington in April to strengthen extended deterrence provided by the United States. It is modeled after U.S. engagement with European allies at the height of the Cold War.


Tokyo "Joker" train attacker says he was inspired by similar case

TOKYO - A man accused of attempted murder and arson while dressed in a Joker costume on a Tokyo train in 2021 said Tuesday that a similar incident a few months earlier inspired him to alter his original plan of going on a killing spree in Shibuya.

Kyota Hattori, 26, who made the statement during his trial at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court, admitted to stabbing a man and starting a fire onboard the train but denied the fire was intended to kill other passengers.


Russia withdraws from deal on Ukraine grain exports

NEW YORK - Russia said Monday it has pulled out of a deal that enabled Ukraine to export its grain through the Black Sea even after last year's invasion, a move that drew criticism from Western countries and prompted the United Nations to express regret.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not agree to extend the deal with the world body, Turkey and Ukraine beyond Monday's expiration as a parallel agreement for exports of Russian grain and fertilizer had not been implemented.


Indo-Pacific diplomats voice concern over N. Korea, S. China Sea

JAKARTA - Top diplomats from the Indo-Pacific region expressed concerns over tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, but reaffirmed efforts to resolve issues through dialogue during last week's meeting of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum, according to the chairman's statement published Monday.

The ASEAN Regional Forum "expressed concerns" over the July 12 launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea, while different views were expressed at the meeting on the root causes of the tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula, the statement said.


Video: "Yamahoko" parade at Gion Festival in Kyoto