A discus-carrying four-legged robot operates during discus-throwing competitions at the Asian Games at an athletic field in Hangzhou, China, on Oct. 1, 2023. (Kyodo)

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


Okinawa rejects central gov't order over U.S. base landfill work

NAHA, Japan - Japan's Okinawa Prefecture on Wednesday rejected the central government's order to endorse its modified plan on landfill work for the transfer of a key U.S. base, in a move likely to prompt the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to take legal action.

The central government issued the order late last month as part of its attempt to move ahead with a procedure allowing the land minister, instead of the Okinawa governor, to approve modifications to the project, in order to reinforce soft ground at a designated construction site.


Amazon Japan delivery driver found eligible for workers' compensation

TOKYO - A self-employed delivery driver for the Japanese unit of Amazon.com Inc. has been deemed eligible for workers' compensation after he was injured on the job, a labor union said Wednesday.

While self-employed individuals are generally not eligible for workers' compensation, given he received direct instructions from the online shopping giant, the man in his 60s was recognized by the Yokosuka labor standards inspection office as effectively being "an employee," according to Tokyo Union.


U.S. House ousts Kevin McCarthy as speaker after gov't shutdown averted

WASHINGTON - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from his position on Tuesday, days after he pivoted to rely on Democratic support to avoid a federal government shutdown.

It is the first time in the country's history that lawmakers of the House have voted to oust the leader, according to U.S. media. The chamber is currently controlled by Republicans, who hold a narrow majority.


Tokyo stocks dive amid wariness over U.S. economic outlook

TOKYO - Tokyo stocks extended their losing streak to five days, with the key Nikkei index losing over 2 percent amid wariness over the U.S. economy's prospects, as stronger-than-expected job openings data fueled fears of further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

On the currency market, the U.S. dollar was off from a one-year high above the 150 yen line overnight, after it plunged to as low as 147.30 yen in a suspected yen-buying intervention by Japanese authorities.


3 scientists win Nobel chemistry prize for quantum dots

STOCKHOLM - Three scientists based in the United States shared this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for their work on quantum dots, miniscule particles that are utilized in nanotechnology, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov were recognized for their separate research on the nanoparticles, currently used to illuminate computer monitors and television screens.


Biden reaffirms U.S. aid for Ukraine to Japanese, European leaders

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday convened a conference call with the leaders of Canada, Japan and European countries, telling them that Washington remains strongly committed to assisting Ukraine, the White House said.

The call was made after a 45-day stopgap funding bill passed by the U.S. Congress on Saturday to avert a federal government shutdown excluded more aid for Ukraine, fueling worries over a potential weakening of the Biden administration's backing for Kyiv in its fight against Russia's aggression.


Japan, U.S. business leaders urge gov'ts to ensure stable chip supply

TOKYO - Japanese and U.S. business leaders on Wednesday urged their governments to deepen collaboration to ensure a stable supply of semiconductors as they become increasingly important in the digitalization of everything from cars to infrastructure.

In a joint statement released at the end of their two-day meeting of the annual Japan-U.S. Business Conference, top corporate executives from the two countries also emphasized heightened economic security risks surrounding semiconductors in the face of rising geopolitical tensions.


SoftBank CEO Son urges Japan firms to embrace AI to stay competitive

TOKYO - SoftBank Group Corp.'s CEO Masayoshi Son on Wednesday urged Japanese companies to take more advantage of artificial intelligence, warning there will be "a critical difference" in firms' competitiveness depending on how willing they are to embrace the technology.

Speaking at a company event, Son voiced concern about many Japanese companies banning use of ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by U.S. tech firm OpenAI, for fear of data leaks and other potential risks.


Video: People perform a sacred ritual in Mie Prefecture