Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) speaks to reporters at the premier's office in Tokyo on Aug. 28, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Operations at all Toyota plants in Japan halted after system failure

NAGOYA - Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday operations at all 14 of its group's vehicle assembly plants in Japan have been halted after a computer system failure earlier that it said was unlikely to have been caused by a cyberattack.

Twelve plants were halted earlier in the morning, before operations at the Miyata plant in Fukuoka Prefecture and Daihatsu Motor Co.'s Kyoto plant were later suspended, it said.


Japan hints at complaint to WTO over China's seafood import ban

TOKYO - Japanese ministers indicated Tuesday the government might file a complaint to the World Trade Organization over China's decision to ban all Japanese seafood imports after treated radioactive water began being released into the sea from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Economic security minister Sanae Takaichi told a press conference, "We are entering a stage where we should consider countermeasures" against the import restrictions imposed by China, including filing a complaint to the global trade body, if "lodging a protest through a diplomatic channel is not effective."


Johnny's talent agency probe urges apology, aid to sex abuse victims

TOKYO - An external probe set up by Japan's top male talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. to examine sex abuse allegations against its deceased founder said Tuesday that the company must accept the claims and make amends to victims.

The investigative team established to review claims that Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused young men employed by the company also said its current head and the deceased mogul's niece Julie Keiko Fujishima should step down to avoid issues presented by family management and to ensure "total reform" of the organization.


Fast-graying Japan's births fall 3.6% to 370,000 in Jan.-June

TOKYO - The number of babies born in Japan and to Japanese expatriates in the January to June period fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 371,052, government data showed Tuesday.

The number of births in the six-month period suggests that the annual total in the country this year is likely to stay below 800,000, after the figure hit a new record low 799,728 last year.


Japan has better chance of seeing end to deflation: gov't white paper

TOKYO - Japan stands a better chance of finally breaking with deflation that has "shackled" the nation for a quarter of a century, amid recent strong wage growth and broadening price hikes, the government said Tuesday in its annual economic and fiscal policy report.

The government has yet to formally declare an end to deflation because current rising prices are largely due to higher import costs and there is still uncertainty over the sustainability of wage growth, a key factor in determining whether deflation is a thing of the past.


Japan PM vows to keep supporting Ukraine in war with Russia

TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Japan will continue supporting the European country, which has been at war with Russia since February 2022.

After holding phone talks with the president, Kishida told reporters at his office that Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for Japan's efforts to provide assistance to Ukraine, while condemning Russia's prolonged aggression against its neighbor.


U.S. approves potential sale of air-to-surface missiles to Japan

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government has approved the potential sale to Japan of air-to-surface missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $104 million, the State Department said Monday.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the plan regarding the extended-range missiles, also known as JASSM-ER, earlier in the day.


North Korea's Kim says nuclear weapons to be deployed to navy

BEIJING - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country's navy would become "a component of the state nuclear deterrence" as he visited the service's command, state-run media said Tuesday.

In a speech delivered Sunday commemorating Navy Day which fell the following day, Kim denounced the leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea as "gang bosses" and stressed the need for the navy to "get prepared to break the enemy's will for war," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.


Video: Rare blue bee in western Japan