An attendee tests a virtual reality game during the Tokyo Game Show at Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, near Tokyo, on the opening day of the four-day event on Sept. 21, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


BOJ retains dovish stance despite market expectations of policy shift

TOKYO - Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said Friday after the central bank left its monetary easing policy in place that it is still premature to envision a change, be it ending negative interest rates or its yield cap program.

Despite market expectations that the BOJ could pare back monetary stimulus sooner rather than later, it did not signal a shift in its dovish stance, maintaining that stable inflation is not in sight.


91-yr-old referred to prosecutors over hit-and-run of dog in Japan

NAGOYA - A 91-year-old driver was referred to prosecutors Friday for allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed a small dog in Nagoya, central Japan, in July.

It is unusual for a case to be filed for an accident involving a pet and is seen as a reflection of the police's view that the man could have also potentially hit a 6-year-old girl who was walking the dog when the incident occurred.


FOCUS: Japan's new female foreign minister damps hopes for ties with China

TOKYO - Yoko Kamikawa, who became Japan's first female foreign minister in around two decades in early September, marked her diplomatic debut at the United Nations, but hopes for an improvement in ties with China were dampened during her trip to New York.

Kamikawa, a 70-year-old veteran lawmaker, succeeded Yoshimasa Hayashi in a Cabinet reshuffle as Tokyo's relations with Beijing have frayed over Japan's discharge of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea starting Aug. 24.


Victim says new Johnny's head apologized for founder's sexual abuse

TOKYO - The new president of Japan's top male talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. has directly apologized to one of the firm's former performers who came forward with an allegation that the company's late founder sexually abused him when he was a teen.

"I'm sorry for the deep pain (we've) caused you," Noriyuki Higashiyama, 56, told Yasushi Hashida on Thursday. Hashida, now a dancer and actor, revealed the apology in a message posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the same day.


Japan's core consumer prices in August up 3.1% on year

TOKYO - Core consumer prices in Japan increased 3.1 percent in August from a year earlier, remaining above the Bank of Japan's 2 percent inflation target, as surging food prices continued to add to overall inflationary pressures, government data showed Friday.

The core consumer price index, excluding volatile fresh food items, rose for the 24th straight month, as companies continued to pass higher production costs on to consumers. The gauge remained above the BOJ's 2 percent target for the 17th consecutive month.


Unseasonal flu surges across Japan amid lower immunity post-COVID

TOKYO - The number of new influenza cases reported at designated medical institutions in Japan has surged 57% in the past week, health ministry data showed Friday, marking an unusual trend for a virus usually prevalent during winter.

Health experts attribute the prolonged spread of infections to a combination of factors, including low immunity stemming from a fall in new flu cases when government coronavirus measures were in place.


Controversial U.S. livestreamer arrested over trespassing in Osaka

OSAKA - An American man known for streaming provocative videos has been arrested on suspicion of breaking into a construction site in Osaka in western Japan, police said Friday.

Ramsey Khalid Ismael, 23, known as "Johnny Somali" on YouTube, was arrested with another American, Jeremiah Dwane Branch, 24, who says he is a university student, according to police.


Japan names new envoys to 11 nations, Vienna, African Union

TOKYO - Japan on Friday named new ambassadors to 11 countries, including Peru and Bulgaria, as well as to the government's missions to international organizations in Vienna and the African Union based in Ethiopia.

Among the three appointments effective immediately, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, 60, becomes ambassador to Peru after previously serving as envoy to Guatemala. Hisashi Michigami, 64, was tapped as envoy to Bulgaria after working as ambassador to Micronesia.


Man given 6 yrs for killing student at her request in Sapporo

SAPPORO - A Sapporo court on Friday sentenced a 54-year-old man to six years in prison for killing a female university student at her request and then mutilating her corpse.

In handing down the ruling, the Sapporo District Court rejected the argument by defendant Isamu Ono's legal team that he was of diminished mental capacity and should receive a suspended sentence over the October 2022 killing of the 22-year-old student at his apartment. The prosecution had sought nine years in jail.


Video: Tokyo Game Show