Maple leaves in autumn colors are lit up along with World Heritage site Byodoin Temple's Phoenix Hall in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan, on Nov. 13, 2023, ahead of its limited-time night illumination event. (Kyodo)

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


No trade deal struck at U.S.-led Indo-Pacific economic meeting

SAN FRANCISCO - The United States and other Indo-Pacific countries participating in its economic initiative on Monday were unable to strike a substantial trade deal during ministerial talks, despite their common goal of promoting a rules-based commercial order in the region where China is growing in influence.

Following the first day of the meeting for the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in San Francisco, Japanese trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said progress was made on some aspects but "no substantial agreement was reached" for the whole trade area.


Mexico, Estonia withdraw from 2025 World Expo: Japan minister

TOKYO - Mexico and Estonia have withdrawn from the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan's minister in charge of the event said Tuesday, with rising construction costs weighing on overseas participants planning to build their own pavilions.

Still, an additional nine countries including Denmark and Finland have decided to participate in the event in western Japan, Hanako Jimi said.


Johnny's sex abuse victim dies in possible suicide in Japan

OSAKA - A man who was allegedly sexually abused by Johnny Kitagawa, the late founder of Japan's top male talent agency previously known as Johnny & Associates Inc., has died in a possible suicide, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The man in his 40s, who was found dead in the western Japan prefecture of Osaka in mid-October, was part of an association of Kitagawa's victims. His death comes amid a barrage of online slander against the group, with some members having filed complaints with police in response.


Japan, Britain, Italy mull defense chief talks in Tokyo in Dec.

TOKYO - Japan, Britain and Italy are considering holding defense ministerial talks in Tokyo in the latter half of December to reaffirm their plan for joint development of a next-generation fighter jet, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and his British and Italian counterparts, Grant Shapps and Guido Crosetto, will likely agree to set up a coordinating body for developing the jet and will keep the deployment target year of 2035, according to the sources.


Takarazuka musical group chairman to step down over actress' death

OSAKA - The chairman of Japan's all-female musical theater company Takarazuka Revue said Tuesday he will step down over the recent death of one of its actresses, who a lawyer said committed suicide due to overwork and bullying within her troupe.

Kenshi Koba apologized to the bereaved family of the 25-year-old actress at a press conference "for not being able to protect the life of your precious loved one," but said an external probe team set up to investigate her death has found no evidence of bullying.


U.S., Indonesia vow to elevate ties amid China's rise

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden and Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed on Monday to elevate the two countries' relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" in their talks in Washington, at a time when China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region has been growing.

Biden said the highest level partnership marks a "new era" in the relationship between his country and Indonesia, a leading member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with close economic ties with China, at the outset of their talks.


Toshiba posts 52 bil. yen net loss before delisting in Japan

TOKYO - Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it posted a net loss of 52.14 billion yen ($344 million) for the six months ended September due to losses related to its chip affiliate Kioxia Holdings Corp., marking its last earnings announcement before its scheduled delisting next month.

The figure in the reporting period is a reversal from a net profit of 100.66 billion yen the Japanese conglomerate booked a year earlier. Sales fell 6.1 percent to 1.50 trillion yen as hard disk business slowed.


Japan astronauts Onishi, Yui to leave for ISS around 2025

TOKYO - Japanese astronauts Takuya Onishi and Kimiya Yui will travel separately to the International Space Station on long-term missions around 2025, the country's space agency said Tuesday.

Yui, 53, was initially scheduled to travel around 2024, but his departure has been delayed by a year. Both will be staying for six months and making their second space flights, with Yui having resided at the ISS between July and December 2015 and Onishi, 47, between July and October 2016, according to the agency.


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