A giant float is paraded during the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage-listed Karatsu Kunchi festival in Karatsu in Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Nov. 3, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Major Japan business lobby to press firms for more than 4% wage hikes

TOKYO - Japan's biggest business lobby Keidanren plans to urge major corporations to consider wage increases with "enthusiasm and determination stronger than this year," a draft guideline for the annual wage negotiations showed Monday, signaling its intention to seek pay hikes of over 4 percent.

The average pay hike at major member firms this year stood at 3.99 percent, the highest in 31 years. The draft guideline did not include any numerical goals for the increase, but defined 2024 as "an extremely important year to attain sustainable wage growth."


Yellen to hold talks with China's economic chief from Nov. 9

WASHINGTON - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with China's top economic policy chief He Lifeng for two days in San Francisco starting Thursday to discuss bilateral issues as well as potential areas for cooperation on global challenges, a senior official said.

The talks will take place just before Yellen hosts a meeting of finance ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and days ahead of a potential summit between the presidents of the United States and China.


Unification Church to meet press Nov. 7 over donations complaints

TOKYO - The Unification Church's Japan branch will meet with the press Tuesday in Tokyo over its planned response to last month's request by the government for a court order to dissolve the religious organization over its aggressive donation solicitation tactics, the body said.

Faced with the possibility of a dissolution order and the loss of its tax-exempt status as a religious corporation, Tomihiro Tanaka, the branch's head, is expected to explain the body's plan to deposit up to 10 billion yen ($67 million) to the government, church sources said.


China's Xi meets Australian PM Albanese in sign ties are improving

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday held talks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Beijing, state-run media said, with the visit expected to stabilize strained bilateral ties.

Among possible agenda items during the first visit to China by an Australian leader since 2016 is Beijing's bid to join a Pacific free trade pact involving Australia, Japan, and countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Canberra and Tokyo have struck a cautious stance on Beijing's possible accession to the treaty.


BOJ chief sees increasing chance of achieving 2% inflation goal

TOKYO - Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said Monday that Japanese companies have become more proactive in setting prices and wages, and the likelihood of attaining the central bank's 2 percent inflation target is "gradually rising."

Ueda made the remarks after the BOJ last week stuck to its ultralow rates but decided to allow long-term government yields to rise above its previously rigid ceiling of 1.0 percent to reduce side effects.


Kimonos of Kabuki icon Tamasaburo in rare display at Oxford museum

TOKYO - Kabuki icon Bando Tamasaburo's kimono costumes will be put on rare display at a museum in Oxford for two years from late November to further spark interest in Britain in the over 400-year-old traditional Japanese performing art.

In what a curator of the University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum says is the first ever exhibit entirely devoted to Kabuki costumes in Britain, a total of 13 kimonos and an "obi" sash worn by the actor in plays from the classical Kabuki repertoire such as "Sukeroku, the Flower of Edo" and "Love Letters from the Pleasure Quarters" will be featured.


Baseball: Japan begins camp under new manager Ibata for Asian c'ship

MIYAZAKI, Japan - Three-time World Baseball Classic champion Japan began to train in Miyazaki under new manager Hirokazu Ibata on Monday for the Asia Professional Baseball Championship.

The second edition of the tournament will be held from Nov. 16 to 19 at Tokyo Dome, where Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will play a round robin to determine which teams will face off in the final and third-place game on the last day. Japan won the inaugural edition in 2017.


Baseball: Orix ace Yamamoto linked to at least 8 MLB clubs: report

NEW YORK - At least eight major league clubs have been linked to Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, MLB.com reported Sunday, after the Pacific League club accepted the right-hander's request for a winter move via the posting system.

The 25-year-old this year extended his Nippon Professional Baseball record of leading a league in four major pitching categories -- wins, ERA, strikeouts and winning percentage -- to three seasons.


Video:  Karatsu Kunchi festival in Saga Prefecture