Photo taken on Oct. 10, 2023, shows Tokyo-born giant panda Xiang Xiang at a giant panda research center in China's Sichuan Province after she recently went on public view for the first time since arriving in China from Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens in February. (Kyodo)

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


 Google faces antitrust probe in Japan for pushing search default

TOKYO - Google LLC faces an antitrust probe in Japan after the technology giant allegedly pushed smartphone makers to use its search platform by default on their devices, the nation's fair trade watchdog said Monday.

The move by the Japan Fair Trade Commission comes after European and U.S. authorities tightened regulations on Google, which is said to hold around a 90 percent share of the global search engine market.


Japan PM sets 3-yr goal to revive inflation-hit economy as wages lag

TOKYO - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Monday to take steps over the next three years, including tax cuts, to rejuvenate the Japanese economy that has been stifled by the combination of high inflation and tepid wage growth.

In his policy speech at an extraordinary parliamentary session, Kishida also committed to bolstering Japan's supply capacity to create growth in the economy with the aid of sustainable wage rises and robust investment.


Refugee applicants to Japan surge in 2023, may reach record high

TOKYO - The number of refugee applicants to Japan is surging this year, increasing the chances of applications hitting a record level last seen in 2017, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The current record high is 19,629 applicants, according to government data. The figure topped 11,000 from January through September this year, partly due to Japan's complete lifting of its COVID-19 pandemic border restrictions in April, the sources said.


Japan, China renew vow to promote ties on peace pact's 45th anniv.

TOKYO - Japan and China renewed their pledges to further promote ties upon the 45th anniversary of a bilateral peace and friendship treaty's coming into force on Monday, as Tokyo continues to seek high-level dialogue with Beijing amid strains in the relationship.

"It is important to work together to build a constructive and stable Japan-China relationship from a big-picture perspective," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a message read out at a ceremony in Tokyo.


Japan PM Kishida eager to usher in "new era" of ties with South Korea

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday expressed his eagerness to usher in a "new era" of bilateral relations with South Korea, with ties having improved rapidly after Seoul pledged to resolve a long-standing wartime labor dispute with Tokyo.

In a message Kishida sent to a gathering in Tokyo which involved political and business figures from both countries, he said, "Japan and South Korea are important neighbors for working together on various challenges in the international community."


Unification Church tells branches to manage assets based on law

TOKYO - The Unification Church's headquarters in South Korea has told its branches worldwide to manage their assets in accordance with the laws of their respective countries amid speculation the Japan branch may transfer its assets overseas to avoid liquidation when it is issued a dissolution order, a church source said Monday.

Japanese lawmakers are stepping up efforts to ensure the assets of the Japan affiliate will be used to help victims of the group's aggressive donation solicitation tactics after the government filed a request with a court this month for an order to dissolve the branch, a move that would deprive the group of its tax-exempt status.


Toyota to fully resume production on Oct. 26 as parts crunch eases

NAGOYA - Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it will fully resume production in Japan on Thursday following disruption caused by an explosion at a parts supplier's factory, bringing an end to its latest supply chain crisis that lasted for more than a week.

The automaker said that among the affected factories, operations will be resumed at five locations in central Japan on Tuesday, with the final plant in the region set to restart on Thursday, as it has now secured the parts it needs.


China lodges complaint with Philippines over ship collision

BEIJING - China lodged a complaint on Monday with the Philippines over a collision involving their vessels in the South China Sea the previous day, expressing its "strong dissatisfaction" over the incident.

The complaint, conveyed by the Chinese Embassy in Manila to the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department, follows exchanges in which each side blamed the other for the collision.


Taiwan, Lithuania affirm cooperation amid China's displeasure

TAIPEI - Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and Lithuania's parliament speaker affirmed cooperation Monday after the mutual establishment of representative offices in recent years angered Beijing, which regards the self-ruled island as its own.

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen told Tsai during a luncheon that her country's cooperation with democratic Taiwan can become "a success story" and a compelling model for many other European countries.


Video: Japan's Princess Kako attends a Girl Scout ceremony